Authorities have released the 911 call placed by Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 49 people and injured 53 others at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando on Sunday, June 12. In the phone call, Mateen declares he is the shooter inside the club and tells police that he is carrying out the attack in honor of “God the Merciful.”
According to the transcript, released on Monday, June 20, Mateen began the call by telling the operator, “In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficial [in Arabic] … Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [in Arabic]. I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.”
After the operator asked for his name, Mateen skirted the question and said: “I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.”
“Alright, where are you at?” the operator asks, to which Mateen simply stated, “In Orlando,” and then hung up.
The FBI reports that after Mateen’s short exchange with the Orlando Police Department, he engaged in three phone conversations with the OPD’s Crisis Negotiation Team.
The first one lasted approximately nine minutes, while the second lasted close to 16. The final call was the shortest of all, lasting only three minutes. In these calls, the FBI reports that “the shooter, who identified himself as an Islamic soldier, told the crisis negotiator that he was the person who pledged allegiance to [omitted], and told the negotiator to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq and that is why he was ‘out there right now.’” When the crisis negotiator asked Mateen what he did inside Pulse, he said, “No, you already know what I did.”
The FBI report reveals that the shooter alleged to the Crisis Negotiation Team that he had bombs waiting to be ignited inside a vehicle outside and told them that he was wearing a vest similar to the kind “they used in France,” referencing the suicide bombers’ explosive vests used in the Paris terror attacks in November 2015. As victims were being rescued from the club, Mateen told the OPD that he was going to strap four of the vests with bombs on clubgoers. When responders searched Mateen’s vehicles, they found no such vests. Mateen also threatened the OPD by telling them that they should expect to see “more of this type of action going on” in days ahead.
As Us Weekly previously reported, the 29-year-old from Fort Pierce, Florida, opened fire inside the LGBT club at around 2 a.m.. Shortly before his siege of the club began, he pledged allegiance to the leader of ISIS. He was shot and killed by police close to 6 a.m., nearly four hours after his rampage started. The Orlando shooting is now the deadliest shooting in American history, followed by 2007’s shootings at Virginia Tech, which left 32 people dead. It is the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001.
Christina Garibaldi and Ian Drew discussed all the latest on Us Weekly’s Facebook Live News Update.
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