*The other shoe has dropped as far as the deadly massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando where 50 people were killed by a gunman, identified as Omar Mateen. The Islamic State/ISIS has now claimed responsibility, according to Reuters via the terrorist organization’s news agency, Amaq.
“The armed attack that targeted a gay night club 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,” Amaq said.
The announcement came hours after lawmakers claimed that shooter Omar Mateen, 27, called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS before opening fire inside the club.
Shooters father says his son’s killings had nothing to do with religion
However, the father of Mateen says his son was not driven by religious ideology, but did grow upset after seeing two gay men kissing in Miami a few months ago.
In a statement to NBC News, Mir Seddique said his family was “in shock” after the shooting at a gay nightclub early Sunday morning. At least 50 people are dead and more than 50 are injured.
“We’re apologizing for the whole incident,” read Seddique’s statement. “We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country. This had nothing to do with religion.”
He says his son got “very angry” when he saw two men kissing in downtown Miami a couple of months ago, and believes that was part of his son’s motive.
Authorities say Mateen, 27, an American citizen in his 20s, acted alone when he opened fire on patrons of Pulse nightclub. He was reportedly armed with an assault-type weapon (AR 15) and a handgun.
President Obama Speaks on Shooting
President Barack Obama called Sunday’s mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, an “act of terror and an act of hate.” He added that while authorities have not reached a definitive judgement as to the shooter’s motivation, the FBI would be investigating the matter as an act of terrorism.
“What is clear, he was a person filled with hatred,” Obama said of the shooter, who was an American citizen. “Over the coming days we will uncover how and why this happened.”
“This could have been any one of our communities,” he said. “As a country, we will be there for the people of Orlando, today, tomorrow and for all the days to come.”
The president noted the shooting took place at an “especially heartbreaking” time during LGBT pride month. He said the place where it happened was more than a nightclub, but a “place of solidarity and empowerment” where people went to “raise awareness, to speak their minds and to advocate for their civil rights.”
Authorities are asking anyone who knew Mateen to please come forward.
Mateen was reportedly known to law enforcement, but was not the target of an investigation.