Police have identified the gunman in the mass shooting at a gay club in Florida as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, an American citizen whose parents are from Afghanistan.
Authorities in Orlando said they were investigating the shooting as an act of terrorism, as the death toll rose to 50 with a further 53 wounded.
ABC News reported he had been on police’s “radar”, though not subject to an investigation.
Two officials tell CNN that the FBI had investigated Mateen at some point for possibly having ties to or sympathizing with Islamic extremism. A law enforcement official said there were two cases opened involving Mateen but the probes didn’t result in enough evidence to charge him with anything.
In the past two weeks Mateen legally purchased a Glock pistol, found at the shooting scene, from a St. Lucie County area gun store, a law enforcement official said.
U.S. law enforcement officials announced another terror arrest on Monday, after arming a mentally ill man and then charging him with having guns.
ABC News quoted a “senior federal official briefed on the arrest” as saying: “This is a very bad person arrested before he could do very bad things.”But in a sting reminiscent of so many others conducted by the FBI since 9/11, Alexander Ciccolo, 23, “aka Ali Al Amriki,” was apparently a mentally ill man who was doing nothing more than ranting about violent jihad and talking (admittedly in frightening ways) about launching attacks—until he met an FBI informant. At that point, he started making shopping lists for weapons.
According to the affidavit, Ciccolo first talked to the FBI informant about attacking two bars and a police station. Later, he spoke of attacking a college campus with a homemade pressure-cooker bomb like the one used in the Boston Marathon terror attack; he also talked about using guns and a lot of ammo. Ciccolo, according to the affidavit, then “ordered the firearms from a confidential human source (“CHS”) working with the FBI.”
|Image: Another patsy set up by the FBI in 2015 was allowed to purchase two semi-automatic rifles at a gun store before being arrested upon leaving with the weapons.|
Agents said that on Tuesday and Wednesday Cornell met with the informant the final time to plan their trip to D.C. to execute their plan. He purchased two Armalite M-15 5.56 mm semi-automatic rifles Wednesday morning, along with 600 rounds of ammunition, and was arrested.
Cornell bought the rifles at the Point Blank gun store on Harrison Avenue in Colerain Township. He passed a background check and paid $1,900 in cash, $700 for each rifle and about $400 for the ammunition.
The gun store owner, John Dean, said FBI agents notified him that Cornell was going to come in to buy the guns about 10 minutes before he entered the store.
Dean said the agents told him to allow the purchase and agents would stop Cornell after he left the store.
Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.
The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad A. Salem, should be used, the informer said.
The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of hours of tape recordings Mr. Salem secretly made of his talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as in a far better position than previously known to foil the Feb. 26 bombing of New York City’s tallest towers. The explosion left six people dead, more than 1,000 injured and damages in excess of half a billion dollars.
…Syrian opposition forces have completely surrounded the Islamic State-held stronghold of Manbij and cut off the group’s main route to the outside world…..
The loss of Manbij will be a huge loss to the group. It had been a waypoint on an Isil supply line between the Turkish border and the extremist group’s de facto capital, Raqqa.