ISIS has claimed responsibility for the worst mass shooting in United States history.
The mass shooting, which occurred in the early morning hours on Sunday, was claimed by ISIS. CBS News reported the terror group’s news organization, Aamaq Agency, claimed the attack was “carried out by an Islamic State fighter.”
However, there is no evidence that the man who carried out the deadly shooting, Omar Mateen, was directly trained by ISIS.
While the ISIS news organization claims the shooting, which left 50 dead and 53 injured in a popular Florida gay nightclub, was all a part of the planning of ISIS, some are skeptical of the claims.
“That has not been confirmed. We’ll have to see what those connections are once we get the details,” said Florida Senator Bill Nelson.
The gunman may have been a lone wolf supporter to ISIS, and ISIS may have claimed responsibility after the fact.
According to RT, Mateen, stated his loyalty to ISIS on a 911 call. He also talked about the Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston Marathon three years ago.
Mateen is a 29-year-old U.S. citizen who comes from a family of first-generation Afghan immigrants. His father, Mir Seddique, said the Orlando shooting massacre had “nothing to do with religion.” Seddique believes it was Mateen’s growing hatred of public displays of homosexuality which resulted in the violence.
The shooter who proclaimed his loyalty to ISIS worked as a private security guard and lived in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Orlando is 125 miles north of his home.
Mateen died in a gun battle with SWAT after they used controlled explosives to get inside the club where Mateen was holding hostages.
Mateen was using an assault rifle and a handgun to shoot people inside the Orlando nightclub, Pulse, and had a “suspicious device” on his person, according to Police Chief John Mina.
CBS New York reported sources mentioned Mateen had been under law enforcement radar within the past five years, but he was not being watched at the time of the deadly shooting in Orlando.
Mateen had been investigated in 2013 and 2014 over alleged threats on social media, but no charges were brought forward due to lack of evidence.
Although the crime seems to have targeted the LGBT community, officials have not made an official statement regarding the motives behind the crime, including any ISIS affiliation. Authorities do claim to be “leaning towards Islamic terrorism,” but the investigation will be ongoing.
President Barack Obama has declared the devastating crime as a hate crime, as the mass shooting occurred in a crowded gay club.
Speculation in the media brings up a recent message given from an ISIS spokesman and its possible connection to the gunman who pledged his support to ISIS.
According to Time, an audio recording released on May 22 in which ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani called for “a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers” was directed at “the fighters and supporters of the caliphate in Europe and America.”
“The smallest action you do in their heartland is better and more enduring to us than what you would if you were with us. If one of you hoped to reach the Islamic State, we wish we were in your place to punish the Crusaders day and night,” Adnani said in the recording.
Some militant groups, including ISIS and al-Qaeda, have used Ramadan, a holy month of all-day fasting, prayer, and reflection, as a reason to increase attacks and draw attention to their causes and terror groups. Ramadan began on June 6.
[Photo by AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]