ISIS Fighter Praises Orlando Shooter, Omar Mateen, And Encourages More Attacks In A New Video
An American ISIS fighter has praised the actions of the Orlando shooter and encourages more attacks in a new video released by the Islamic State on Sunday.
Just one week after the most deadly shooting on U.S. soil, an ISIS fighter named Abu Isma’il Al-Amriki gave the deceased shooter, Omar Mateen, approval for his deadly actions against the LGBT community in an Orlando nightclub which left 49 people dead and 53 people wounded.
According to Fox News, a new video released by ISIS features Al-Amriki, which means “The American,” speaking in English to the camera while holding a rifle and dressed in military garb. The ISIS fighter looks like he is in the desert while Arabic music plays quietly in the background and Arabic subtitles are shown at the bottom of the screen.
“Omar Mateen, one of the soldiers of the [caliphate], was one of the few that was truthful to his lord. While having prepared his weapons and taken steps, while having trust and reliance upon Allah, it is through his hand that Allah punished his enemies.”
The non-governmental counterterrorism organization SITE says the part of ISIS which released the video is from the group’s Furat Province in western Iraq.
Al-Amriki says to his audience, “Do you think you’re at war with a small group of Mujahedeen in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other places? You are sadly mistaken. And do you think you can defeat us by bombarding our homes with the help of your drones and F-16s [and government groups]? Then again, you have sadly made a great mistake. Oh America, indeed you are at war with all the true and sincere Muslims around the world.”
Other ISIS terrorists from around the world, including those with Indonesian, Russian, and Uzbek backgrounds, appear in the video which praises Omar Mateen for shooting clubgoers in the Pulse nightclub.
The ISIS video features a slogan, “You are not held responsible except for yourself,” and shows a picture of President Barack Obama on one side of images of the Orlando shooting and Mateen on the other side.
The ISIS video calls on terrorists to target journalists and police. One of the ISIS fighters hints at a “surprise” operation which could occur during the Euro 2016 tournament in France.
Although the ISIS video calls Mateen a “soldier of the Caliphate,” there is no evidence to support the notion that Mateen was trained by ISIS or any other terrorist group. Experts are under the impression that Mateen was a lone wolf who was radicalized on his own, likely over the internet.
Mateen may have been influenced by the lone wolf attacks in San Bernardino and in the Boston Bombing.
Despite the support from ISIS after his horrific actions and death, NPR reports that intelligence officials and investigators are “becoming increasingly convinced that the motive for this attack had very little — or maybe nothing — to do with ISIS.”
It’s been called into question whether Mateen was secretly gay and did not know how to deal with his self-hatred and acted out in unparalleled violence against the gay community. Mateen made several visits to the Pulse nightclub before the attack, according to some witnesses, and he chatted on gay dating apps.
The self-proclaimed ISIS sympathizer was reportedly violent with his wives and those around him think he showed very few signs of radicalization.
While ISIS may claim his deeds now, evidence keeps pointing to the fact that the group did not know of him as a soldier prior to the deadly shooting in Orlando.
[Photo by AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File]