Orlando police and the FBI are considering the possibility that the gunman who killed 50 people and injured 53 others at a gay club was a radical Islamic terrorist. There are allegations that the shooter had ties to terrorist organizations.
When asked if the suspect in the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12 had any ties to Jihadist terrorism, FBI Special Agent in Charge Ron Harper said in a press conference on June 12 that it was a possibility. Though the FBI and Orlando PD weren’t 100% sure at this time if the gunman Omar Mateen, 29, who killed 50 and injured 53 others at the gay club was a terrorist, though they have learned that he may have ties to terrorist organizations. Click through to read Special Agent Harper’s explanation.
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“There are allegations [Omar] made threats in the past to having ties to terrorist organizations,” Special Agent Harper said during the press conference. “At this time we’re looking at all angles right now. We do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings toward [radical Islam], that particular ideology. But right now we can’t say definitively so we’re still running everything around.”
The White House press office has said that President Obama had been briefed about the situation by Homeland Security. He’s asked the FBI and Orlando PD for updates on the dire situation. Special Agent in Charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Danny Banks, said, “We are investigating this from all parties’ perspective as an act of terrorism. Whether that is domestic terrorist activity or an international one, that is something we will certainly get to the bottom of.”
The incident began when Omar and a police officer engaged in a shootout outside Pulse around 2:00am ET. Omar then ran into the club, and kept the 320 patrons inside hostage as he went on a shooting spree. A team of police rammed down the doors, helped 30 partygoers to safety, and then shot and killed Omar. Orlando police chief John Mina said that Omar possessed an assault-style weapon, a handgun, and had “some type of (other) device” on him.
HollywoodLifers, our thoughts are with the victims of the Pulse shooting during this difficult time.