The horrible tragedy that unfolded in the early hours of the morning today in Orlando today has left at least 50 people dead and more than 50 people wounded. This is now the worst mass-shooting in American history and speculation about the shooter and his motives are running rampant today. There is a lot we don't know right now, but there are some things that we do know.
Here are 5 things that we know so far about the Orlando shooting:
- The Shooter, identified as Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, is an American citizen born in New York City to parents who came to America from Afghanistan.
- The FBI is investigating this attack as an act of terrorism. 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. California Congressman Schiff, who serves as top Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, further said in a statement,this attack is so painfully reminiscent of the terrible attack at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, and other ISIS-inspired attacks in recent years. 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 night club during Pride, and - if accurate - that according to local law enforcement the shooter declared his allegiance to ISIS, indicates an ISIS-inspired act of terrorism. Whether this attack was also ISIS-directed, remains to be determined.
- Mateen was a "known quantity" to Federal authorities. He had been investigated by the FBI at least two times in the last three years. A senior law enforcement source reported to The Daily Beast 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 is reportedly linked to ISIS. Congressman Schiff said to 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)'.
- ISIS had announced a threat three days ago that included targets in Florida. Shoebat.com reported on the threat several days ago.
— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) June 12, 2016
This is some of what we know now. There are reports coming out nearly by the minute updating facts as they become available. We will stay with this story and continue to keep everyone updated as we learn more about this terrible attack today.