Orlando gunman raged against ‘filthy ways of the west’
Orlando gunman Omar Mateen apparently made a series of Facebook posts before and during his attack on a gay nightclub
Orlando gunman Omar Mateen apparently made a series of Facebook posts before and during his attack on a gay nightclub, raging against the “filthy ways of the west” and blaming the US for the deaths of “innocent women and children,” according to a Senate committee letter released on Wednesday.
The killer whose rampage left 49 people dead also searched for “Pulse Orlando” and “Shooting” online on the morning of the carnage Sunday and said on Facebook, “America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic State,” according to the letter.
The messages were detailed in a letter from the Senate Homeland Security Committee to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking the company to produce information on Mateen’s online activity and to provide a briefing to the panel.
The letter was released as the long, sad procession of memorials and funerals for the victims began in Orlando and the FBI appealed for the public’s help in reconstructing the killer’s movements. Investigators also zeroed in what role his wife may have played in the attack at Pulse dance club.
“We need your help in developing the most complete picture of what he did and why he did it,” FBI agent Ron Hopper said at a news conference.
In its letter, the committee said staffers have learned that five Facebook accounts were associated with the 29-year-old American man. “The real muslims will never accept the filthy way of the west,” Mateen wrote, according to the letter.
As he did in his call to a 911 operator during the massacre, Mateen pledged his allegiance on Facebook to the leader of the Islamic State and, in his final post, warned: “in the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic State in the USA.”
Despite his professed loyalty to the extremist group, the Obama administration has said it has seen no evidence that the shooting rampage was directed by the ISIS.
A spokesman for the FBI did not immediately return a call for comment on Wednesday evening, and Facebook had no immediate comment.
The FBI said it is still gathering evidence at gay nightclub Pulse and analysing cellphone location data to piece together Mateen’s activities leading up to the massacre, while also interviewing people who had any dealings with him.
Meanwhile a newly unearthed clip from a film documentary about the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico shows Mateen - then working security for the cleanup - talking cynically about people making money off disasters.
The excerpt from 2012’s “The Big Fix” shows Mateen telling a woman that everyone is “hoping for more oil to come out and more people to complain so they’ll have the jobs.”
Security firm G4S confirmed that it’s Mateen, saying he was stationed in Pensacola in 2010 to assist with cleanup. The footage was filmed at a security perimeter at a beachfront near the Gulf Coast.
“It has come to our attention that a security guard that we spoke to in our documentary The Big Fix was Omar Mateen,” filmmakers Josh and Rebecca Tickell told Storyful.
“We have reached out to law enforcement to provide them with access to the footage should it be helpful in their investigation. We do not want to add any more undue attention to the shooter. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of the massacre, we grieve with you.”