In the midst of his assault on an Orlando nightclub, gunman Omar Mateen claimed credit for the massacre and identified himself as an “Islamic soldier” while warning of more bloodshed to come, according to partial transcripts of his phone calls released by the FBI. “I am in Orlando, and I did the shootings,” Mateen told a 911 dispatcher in Arabic just after 2:30 am on June 12.
“In these calls, the shooter, who identified himself as an Islamic soldier, told the crisis negotiator that he was the person who pledged his allegiance to [omitted], and told the negotiator to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq and that is why he was ‘out here right now’,” said the transcripts of the call.
The transcripts however redacts the ISIS’s name. Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 others at a gay club in Orlando, Florida in wee hours of June 12.
“When the crisis negotiator asked the shooter what he had done, the shooter stated, ‘No, you already know what I did’.”
The shooter continued, stating, “There is some vehicle outside that has some bombs, just to let you know. You people are gonna get it, and I’m gonna ignite it if they try to do anything stupid,” it said.
Later in the call, Mateen that he had a vest, and further described it as the kind they “used in France”.
“In the next few days, you’re going to see more of this type of action going on,” he said.
The shooter hung up and multiple attempts to get in touch with him were unsuccessful, the FBI said.
The Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan condemned the FBI for redacting portions of the transcripts.
“Selectively editing this transcript is preposterous. We know the shooter was a radical Islamist extremist inspired by ISIS. We also know he intentionally targeted the LGBT community. The administration should release the full, unredacted transcript so the public is clear-eyed about who did this and why,” Ryan said in a statement.
The FBI said out of respect for the victims of this horrific tragedy, law enforcement will not be releasing audio of the shooter’s calls at this time, nor will law enforcement be releasing audio or transcripts of the calls made by victims at the Pulse nightclub during the incident.
“Furthermore, the name of the shooter and that of the person/group to whom he pledged allegiance are omitted,” FBI said in a statement.