A massacre occurred at an Orlando gay nightclub Sunday morning. Authorities declared at least 50 dead and 53 injured. It is the worst terror attack in U.S. history since the 11 attacks coordinated by Al-Qaeda on the United States on September 2001.
Information About the Murderer
The criminal is Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County, Florida, born in the US of Afghani parents.
According to law enforcement officials, after he began the shooting, he called 911 to declare his commitment to ISIS.
Until now, there is no proof that ISIS coordinated the attack, said terrorism observers. However, the terrorists’ supporters have celebrated the massacre online, and they said the shooter was an ISIS “fighter”.
Sunday was “the most difficult day in the history of Orlando”, said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer at a news conference yesterday afternoon.
The FBI believe that Matten is not a local and that he was well-prepared and organized.
He was under investigation by U.S officials for a period but wasn’t a target of a particular inquiry.
How Did He Attack?
A shootout held between a police officer working at the club and the shooter. After the shootings, Mateen entered the club.
In a short period, Mateen took hostages, and he was armed with an assault rifle, handgun and other devices on him.
The SWAT team decided to rescue the hostages at approximately 5 a.m. At the time of the shooting inside the club were about 320 people. However, the team succeeded, and the shooter was declared dead at 5:53 a.m.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will determine if it is “domestic or international” terrorism.
The White House transmitted in a statement issued at 9 a.m. their good thoughts to the families of the victims. Also, the President asked to receive regular updates from all the officers that work with the Orlando Police to gather all the information needed. He directed the federal government to provide any assistance to pursue the investigation and support the community.
Arnold Palmer, Winnie Palmer Hospitals, and Orlando Regional Medical Center were placed on lockdown after receiving several gunshot victims. These hospitals remained on lockdown until 8 a.m. Sunday.
Pulse Nightclub and the police warned people to stay away from the shooting area. Also, the police updated that they have support from the local, state and federal agencies, and they confirm it is a mass casualty situation.
A controlled explosion was caused near the shooting scene intended to distract the shooter. Florida Gov. Rock Scott declared that “this is clearly an act of terror” and he has established an emergency state in Orlando County, Florida. The governor said that all the resources needed would be available immediately.
President Obama said that he would do everything he can to help the community. He considered the Pulse massacre “an act of terror and an act of hate”.
In the Middle East, ISIS (based in Syria), has been targeting gay men for beatings and murder. The group has filmed its members throwing some men suspected of being gay from the roofs of buildings.
Locals in Mourning
Hours after the mass shooting took
place the local members held vigils Sunday evening. Around 6 p.m a moment of silence was observed across the country.
Hundreds of people lined up at the local OneBlood bank in Orlando to respond quickly to the urgent need for blood. The local blood donation group asked donors to return in a few days.
The Relatives’ Opinion About the Criminal
Mateen’s father, Seddique, said that his son was born in New York and grew up in St. Lucie
County, Florida. He declared that he was a family man and a devout Muslim who never showed any signs of extremism, violence or hatred.
Orlando Shooter’s Ex-Wife, Yusufiy, was shocked by this attack, and she mentioned that he was a sick person.
Also, she said that when they were married, he would be perfectly normal and happy now, and a few minutes later his mood would completely change. She stated that he was violent, and after he had abused her she realized he was a sick person that went crazy.
Yusufiy said that Mateen was desperate to become a police officer and that he would often go to the shooting range with other cops.
After just a few weeks of marriage, he wanted to control her. He started to be angry, violent and he forced her to give him all of her money.
He hated homosexuals, said Yusufiy. She mentioned that in the Islamic culture, homosexuality is not tolerated.
She said that after the divorce, she had no connection with Mateen, and she doesn’t understand what led him to kill 50 innocent people. The entire event was a shocking experience for her.
She wants to offer all the information she has to help the grieving families.
Orlando police said today that 48 of the 49 victims have been identified, and they were between 20 and 50 years old.
The killer was licensed as a security guard and also holds a firearms license. He was employed by a British multinational security services company, the world’s largest security company by revenue. Omar Mateen has worked for the enterprise since 2007.
According to preliminary reports, he had been on a terrorist watch list. Therefore, he still managed to obtain weapons thanks to his various licenses and permits.
It is possible that the same guy could have facilitated the transport of illegal immigrants across the border?
If this information is valid, he could have helped other like-minded radical Islamists enter the country.
Do you think your area could be target for another terrorist attack? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.