A 29-year-old American-born man, Omar Mateen, who had pledged allegiance to ISIS gunned down 50 people early Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando, USA. Authorities say it is the deadliest mass shooting in the United States and the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) later claimed responsibility for the attack.
“The armed attack that targeted a gay nightclub in the city of Orlando in the American state of Florida which left over 100 people dead or injured was carried out by an Islamic State fighter,” the Islamic State’s Amaq news agency said in a statement to Reuters on Sunday afternoon.
According to CNN,
- The gunman, Omar Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, Florida, was interviewed by the FBI in 2013 and 2014 but was not found to be a threat, the FBI said.
- Mateen called 911 during the attack to pledge allegiance to ISIS and mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers, according to a U.S. official.
- Orlando police shot and killed Mateen.
- Mateen’s ex-wife said she thinks he was mentally ill.
Mateen carried an assault rifle and a pistol into the packed Pulse club about 2 a.m. Sunday and started shooting, killing 50 people and wounding at least 53, police said.After a standoff of about three hours, while people trapped inside the club desperately called and messaged friends and relatives, police crashed into the building with an armored vehicle and stun grenades and killed Mateen.
- The deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 followed a clarion call by ISIS to its supporters in the United States to launch attacks during Ramadan, the Islamic Holy Month, which started last week.
“The smallest action you do in the heart of their land is dearer to us than the largest action by us, and more effective and more damaging to them.
“And if one of you wishes and tries hard to reach the Islamic State, then one of us wishes to be in your place to hurt the Crusaders day and night without sleeping, and terrorize them so that the neighbor fears his neighbor.”