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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, April 26, 2018

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Obama: Orlando nightclub shooting ‘an act of terror and hate’

Gunman, identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen

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ORLANDO, Florida - Hours after a gunman, identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen went on a shooting rampage, killing at least 50 people and leaving 53 others injured at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando - new facts have now emerged in the case.> Big News Network

Reports had stated that the gunman used an AR-15 type rifle and a handgun and was killed in a shootout with police, after they broke into the night club to rescue 30 people held hostage there.

Soon after the incident, U.S. President, Barack Obama reportedly met with FBI Director James B. Comey and addressed the nation from The White House.

Obama said that the entire country stands “with the people of Orlando, who have endured a terrible attack on their city.”

He said, “As Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people.” He further said it was too early to know “the precise motivations of the killer” however adding that the FBI, that had begun investigating the massacre as an act of terrorism were trying to establish if there were any possible links between the gunman and terrorist groups.

Ron Hopper, FBI Special Agent was quoted in reports as saying that the bureau was still working to determine whether sexual orientation was a motive in the Orlando attack.

Agent Hopper reportedly added that investigators had found no indication that Mateen had outside help in planning the attack, nor any sign of other suspects or further threats to the public.

However, reports revealed more details regarding Mateen’s background as hours passed by and claimed that Mateen had been on the FBI’s radar - with Agent Hopper claiming in a statement that Mateen had been investigated by the bureau twice but was cleared both times.

He added that in 2013, Mateen had made “inflammatory comments to co-workers alleging possible ties to terrorists.”

The FBI however was not able to verify the details and had closed the investigation.

Then again in 2014, Mateen was linked to Moner Mohammad Abusalha, who was the first American to carry out a suicide attack in Syria.

Agent Hopper said, “We determined that contact was minimal and did not constitute a substantive relationship or a threat at that time.”

In another interview, Mateen’s ex-wife said that he used to beat her repeatedly during their brief marriage. She claimed that Mateen, who was Muslim, was not very religious and had shown no signs of being devoted to radical Islam.

His ex-wife said in a report, “He was not a stable person. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”

The Mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer on the other hand declared a state of emergency in the city and reportedly said, “We’re dealing with something we never imagined and is unimaginable.”

Meanwhile, reports also quoted Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump as saying that he had warned of this sort of terrorism earlier and reiterated his calls for a temporary ban on Muslim migration to the U.S.

Trump released a statement that said, “I said this was going to happen — and it is only going to get worse. And we will have no way to screen them, pay for them, or prevent the second generation from radicalising.”

Trump also said on Twitter that the Orlando rampage “is just the beginning” noting that he “asked for the ban” on Muslim immigration to America. He is said to have further argued that such vigilance was necessary and that the country “can’t afford to be politically correct.”

Meanwhile, Presumptive Democratic Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton is said to have released a statement that said, “This act of terror is the largest mass shooting in American history and a tragedy that requires a serious response. Donald Trump put out political attacks, weak platitudes and self-congratulations. We need to redouble our efforts to defend our country from threats at home and abroad. We need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals.”

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