As Omar Mateen murdered dozens of people in an Orlando nightclub on Sunday, the New York-born terrorist took to social media to declare his support for the ISIS terror organization and decry the “filthy ways of the West”.
“I pledge my allegiance to [ISIS chief] Abu Bakr al Baghdadi,” Mateen wrote in the middle of his massacre. “May Allah accept me.”
Emergency dispatchers in Orlando had earlier revealed that Mateen called 9-1-1 to publicize the attack and his support for ISIS.
FBI investigators and officials on the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee compiled Mateen’s social media comments posted prior to and during the deadly attack in an effort to clarify the motives behind the killings and to ascertain what details Mateen had revealed to his wife or other acquaintances about his impending attack.
“The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west,” Mateen wrote in another post.
Questions remain regarding Mateen’s sexuality and whether the attack may have been motivated in part by his own homosexual inclinations. Mateen’s former wife, Sitora Yusufiy, claims he had “gay tendencies”.
“After [the wedding] he confessed to me about his past, and how he very much enjoyed going to clubs and the nightlife.”
The two divorced within months of their wedding.
Witnesses say Mateen was a regular at the nightclub targeted in the attack, an establishment that caters primarily to gays and lesbians.
In other social media posts, however, Mateen cited American military operations overseas as the reasoning behind his attack, writing “You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes… now taste the Islamic state vengeance.”
Survivors of the attack say Mateen made similar statements during the massacre, saying he was taking revenge against the United States for its anti-terror operations in Afghanistan.