The Daily Beast, June 12, 2016
Omar Mateen of Port Saint Lucie, Florida, came to the attention of federal authorities twice prior to being identified as the gunman in the Orlando nightclub mass shooting, a senior law enforcement source told The Daily Beast.
Mateen killed 53 people and shot more than 100 in total at the Pulse gay nightclub early Sunday morning, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
The senior law enforcement source reports that Mateen became a person of interest in 2013 and again in 2014. The Federal Bureau of Investigation at one point opened an investigation into Mateen but subsequently closed the case when it produced nothing that appeared to warrant further investigation.
Mateen was a U.S. citizen; his parents are from Afghanistan, CBS News reports.
Father Mir Mateen told NBC News that the sight of two men kissing angered his son.
The attack, he said, “has nothing to do with religion.”
FBI Agent Ron Hopper told reporters Mateen may have had leanings toward Islamic extremism. The law enforcement source told The Daily Beast there is no immediate indication that Omar Mateen had any direct connection to ISIS.
The source did note that ISIS recently declared online that its followers should mount attacks to mark the approach of the holy month of Ramadan.
The message came in an audio recording from spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, released in May.
“Ramadan, the month of conquest and jihad. Get prepared, be ready…to make it a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers…especially for the fighters and supporters of the caliphate in Europe and America,” Adnani said.