Orlando shooter railed against ‘filthy’ West in Facebook post

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Jun 16, 2016 21:45 IST
An undated photo from a social media account of Omar Mateen, who Orlando Police have identified as the suspect in the mass shooting at a gay nighclub in Orlando. (Reuters)

The Orlando killer professed allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr-al Baghdadi in a post on Facebook the day of the shooting and railed against the “filthy” West while warning of more attacks.

On June 12, shooter Omar Mateen searched the social network for “Pulse Orlando” and “Shooting”, according to a letter to Facebook from the US Senate committee on homeland security.

“America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic state..I pledge my alliance to abu bakr al Baghdadi..may Allah accept me,” the shooter said in a post, according to the letter.

Read: Omar Mateen: How a ‘playful’ child became Orlando shooter

Then this: “The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west” and “You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes..now taste the Islamic state vengeance.”

In a final post, Mateen, who is said to have had “gay tendencies”, warned of more attacks: “In the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic state in the usa.”

Mateen, who gunned down 49 people at the Pulse gay nightclub before being killed by police, had proclaimed allegiance to Baghdadi in multiple 911 calls during the attack.

He also named the San Bernardino killers — who had posted a Facebook allegiance to the IS — and the Boston marathon bombers as his inspiration in those calls, according to the FBI.

Read: Orlando shooting suspect Omar Mateen was a wife beater: Reports

Though inspired by the IS, Mateen is not believed to have been directed, guided or equipped by the group, investigators have said. He had self-radicalised using the internet.

The Senate committee’s letter, by Chairman Ron Johnson to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, said Mateen had searched the social network for information on the San Bernardino killers in May. In June, he searched the site for “Baghdadi Speech” and conducted “frequent local law enforcement and FBI searches, including searching for specific law enforcement offices”.

The committee has asked Facebook to hand over all data on the gunman, along with any affiliated accounts, activity logs, timeline information, messages, photos and posts.

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