Some say Orlando shooter was a regular at club

Some say Orlando shooter was a regular at club

16 June, 2016

Mateen, 29, was shot dead by police who stormed the Pulse club with armoured cars after a three-hour siege. During the attack, he called 911 to profess allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Years before he slaughtered 49 people at a gay club, Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was threatening to go on a school rampage, according to a former classmate. The last of the bodies were removed from the nightclub late Sunday, and vigils and makeshift memorials to the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern USA history began to take shape as counterterrorism authorities delved into gunman Omar Mateen's background and defended their handling of their previous contacts with him.

President Barack Obama has called the attack a case of "homegrown extremism".

In the aftermath, Obama called the shooting an "act of terror" and "act of hate", against the LGBT community and renewed his call for gun control.

The attack on the Pulse nightclub in the central Florida city was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, and the worst attack on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

His father, Seddique Mir Mateen, a native of Afghanistan, told reporters at his Port St. Lucie home on Monday that his son alone bears responsibility.

US officials were investigating media reports that Mateen may have been gay but not openly so, and questioning whether that could have driven his attack, according to two people who have been briefed on the investigation and requested anonymity to discuss it.

The gunman who police say killed at least 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando was reportedly a regular at the venue. He was regular, we consider that regular.

The official noted that the concept of martyrdom is not confined to Islam, as Christians also venerate martyrs who died for their beliefs, for instance.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Tara Goodin said in an email to The Associated Press that the Interorganizational Disaster Task Force met Sunday and ensured that all immediate needs for blood were met.

"He was fine most of the time, but other times, if he was drinking, he'd go all spastic and we'd have to take him out to his auto and make him leave".

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The owner of Pulse, speaking through a representative, denied reports that Mateen had been a regular patron.

"That's a lie", Raymond Michael Sharpe said in a text message.

"We sat next to him in classes and were bullied for years and nothing was done".

A one-time co-worker with security company G4S remembered Mateen as an angry man who used slurs for gay people, blacks, Jews and women, and threatened violence.

During the course of three phone calls, Mateen pledged allegiance to the head of the Islamic State.

The FBI became aware of Mateen in 2013 when co-workers reported that the private security guard claimed to have family connections to al-Qaida and to be a member of Hezbollah, too, Comey said.

"So far, we see no indication that this was a plot directed from outside the United States, and we see no indication that he was part of any kind of network", Comey said. Nusra is an al Qaeda offshoot which is at odds with Islamic State in Syria's civil war.

He said he had spoken to Noor Salman's mother after the Orlando attack. "It's not entirely clear at this point just what terrorist group he aspired to support". He still held that when he attacked the nightclub and was killed by police.

Mateen was born to Afghan parents in NY in 1986 and lived in Port St Lucie, Florida, about a two-hour drive from Orlando.

The massacre reverberated on the presidential campaign trail, where Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the two likely opponents in the November 8 election, clashed over how to confront violent Islamist extremists.

Comey said the FBI closed its earlier investigation of Mateen after 10 months, convinced that his assertions of extremist ties were meant to "freak out" co-workers who he said were harassing him for being a Muslim. As for whether there was anything the Federal Bureau of Investigation should have done differently, "so far, the honest answer is, I don't think so", Comey said.

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