Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was a home grown terrorists who was radicalised over the internet, the FBI said, asserting that he was not part of any overseas global terrorist network, including the dreaded Islamic State militant group.
“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,” FBI Director James Comey told reporters at a crowded news conference here.
A day after Mateen killed 50 people and injured 53 others, Comey said from the investigations so far it is not entirely clear at this point just what terrorist group he aspired to support.
Although, he made clear his infinity at the time of the attack for the Islamic State and generally leading up to the attack for radical Islamic groups, he said.
The FBI is investigating the Orlando shooting as an act of terrorism.
“He (Mateen) made 911 calls from the club during the attack at about 2:30 in the morning Sunday morning and there were three different calls. He called and he hung up. He called again and spoke briefly with the dispatcher and then he hung up. And then the dispatcher called him back again and they spoke briefly. So there were three total calls,” he said.
“During the calls he said he was doing this for the leader of ISIL, who he named and pledged loyalty to, but he also appeared to claim solidarity with the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing and solidarity with a Florida man who died as a suicide bomber in Syria for al-Nusra Front, a group in conflict with the so-called Islamic State,” he said.
The bombers at the Boston Marathon and the suicide bomber from Florida were not inspired by ISIL, which adds a little bit to the confusion about his motives, Comey said.
“And of course, we are working understand what role anti-gay bigotry may have played in motivating this attack, and attack that occurred during the very month when we recognise and celebrate our LGBT brothers and sisters,” he said, adding that it is early.
“We are working hard to understand the killer and his motives and his sources of inspiration. But we are highly confident that this killer was radicalised and at least in some part through the internet. So that’s what we have been doing,” Comey said.
Comey said Mateen was under FBI radar prior to the attack.