US President Barack Obama has said that there is no clear evidence that the Orlando gunman was directed by Islamic State.
The Orlando nightclub shooting occurred at Pulse, an nightclub in Orlando, Florida, United States. Fifty people were killed, including the gunman and 53 others were wounded inside the nightclub. The shooter was identified as Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, a 29-year-old American of Afghan descent.
The attack is the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in United States history, the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in US history and the deadliest terrorist attack on US soil since the September 11.
During the attack, Mateen pledged allegiance to Islamic State. However, he had previously made contradictory statements claiming association or membership with other groups, including the Sunni al-Qaeda and the Shiite Hezbollah—all of whom are organisations that are rivals.
Officials have not yet found evidence linking Mateen to Islamic State and cautioned that the attack may have been IS-inspired without being IS-directed.
Omar Mir Seddique Mateen was identified as the gunman after the shooting. He was a United States citizen born in New York City to Afghan parents and was a Sunni Muslim.
In 2011 and 2012, Mateen made two trips to Saudi Arabia for Umrah.
Mateen became a person of interest to the FBI in May 2013 and July 2014. The 2013 investigation was opened after Mateen made “inflammatory” comments to coworkers about having family connections to al-Qaeda and being a member of Hezbollah and the 2014 investigation was opened after Mateen was linked to Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, an American radical who traveled to Syria and committed a suicide bombing there.
Mateen was interviewed three times in connection with the investigations, which were both closed after producing nothing that appeared to warrant further investigation.