The Muslim gunman who slaughtered at least 50 people after taking party-goers hostage inside a gay club in Orlando had pledged allegiance to Islamic State, according to California congressman Adam Schiff.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The early morning Islamic terror attack in Orlando is now being called the worst mass shooting in United States history, with the death toll now at 50 and rising. Donald Trump said this would happen and has called repeatedly for a complete ban on all Muslim immigration. I say it’s also time to start closing down the mosques as well.
Adam Schiff, who serves as top Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, told CNN: ‘What I’ve heard from the Department of Homeland Security this morning is that, according to local police, he made a pledge of allegiance to ISIL (ISIS).’
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He said it is ‘highly indicative of an ISIL-inspired attack’. He added: ‘He was heard praying in a foreign language and I don’t know if this was at some point during the course of the shooting but that’s what I’m hearing, obviously second hand, coming ultimately from local police.’
Law enforcement sources have identified the shooter, who was wielding an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun, as US citizen Omar Mateen, 29, from Port St. Lucie in Florida.
The gunman, who was born to Afghan parents, was carrying a suspicious device, possibly a suicide vest, when he opened fire on the dance floor inside Pulse in the early hours of this morning. Omar Mateen had committed himself to ISIS before carrying out the bloodiest mass murder in US history at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Sunday, federal officials said.
At least 50 people were killed and 53 others were injured in the shooting in the deadliest mass shooting in US history. A surgeon at Orlando Regional Medical Center said the death toll was likely to climb.
Omar Mateen “made a pledge of allegiance to ISIS,” California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told CNN. Schiff said the timing and target of the attack can’t be a coincidence.
“The fact that this shooting took place during Ramadan and that ISIS leadership in Raqqa has been urging attacks during this time, that the target was an LGBT nightclub during (LGBT) Pride (month) and, if accurate, that according to local law enforcement the shooter declared his allegiance to ISIS, indicates an ISIS-inspired act of terrorism,” Schiff said.
An FBI spokesman said the mass shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism, adding that they are looking into whether this was an act of domestic or international terror, and if the shooter was a lone wolf.
The FBI believe the gunman, who was shot dead by officers, may have ‘leanings to radical Islamic terrorism’. source