Omar Mateen, the gunman who carried out the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, checked Facebook during the attack to see if it was trending, claims a letter from Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, to Mark Zuckerberg.
According to the letter, which was released by a senate committee on Thursday, June 16, Mateen searched for “Pulse Orlando” and “Shooting” after opening fire inside the LGBT nightclub early Sunday morning. The massacre left 49 dead and 53 critically injured and is one of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
The senator notes in his letter to the Facebook founder that according to information obtained by his staff, the 29-year-old American-born Muslim shooter, who pledged allegiance to ISIS shortly before the massacre, was linked to five different Facebook accounts. Prior to the attack, he allegedly posted several messages on Facebook referring to the “Islamic state vengeance.”
Other messages that the letter claims Mateen posted to the social media platform include: “America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic state..I pledge my alliance to abu bakr al Baghdadi..may Allah accept me,” Mateen wrote on one account, referring to ISIS’ leader. “The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west . … You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes..now taste the Islamic state vengeance.”
In another post, he reportedly wrote: “In the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic state in the usa.”
Mateen also reportedly searched for information on the December 2015 San Bernardino shooting and also looked up “Baghdadi speech,” according to the letter.
Johnson penned the letter to Zuckerberg in hopes of uncovering the shooter’s online trail prior to the deadly incident.
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