The Islamic State group on Monday claimed responsibility for the Orlando shooting that killed 50 people, saying in a radio bulletin that it was carried out by “one of the soldiers of the caliphate”.
“God allowed Omar Mateen, one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America, to carry out an attack entering a crusader gathering in a night club… in Orlando in Florida, killing and wounding more than 100 of them,” a bulletin from Al-Bayan radio said.
Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard who was born in New York to Afghan parents, called 911 after his initial assault on the dance club to pledge allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State Abu Bakr-al-Baghdadi, law enforcement officials were quoted as saying by media reports.
During the call, he also mentioned the Boston bombers — Tsarnaev brothers, who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.
Mateen, who carried an assault rifle and a pistol into the gay club in Orlando in the wee hours of Sunday and killed 50 people while injuring 53 others, was later shot dead by the police.
He made the 911 call from a bathroom of the gay club in Orlando, Florida. During the call he gave his full name, officials said.
US President Barack Obama has described the massacre as an act of terror and an act of hate. The FBI is investigating the case as an act of terrorism.
Since 2007, Mateen had worked as a security officer at G4S Secure Solutions, which is said to be one of the world’s largest private security companies.
G4S, in a statement, said they are ‘shocked and saddened by the tragic event’ and are cooperating with law enforcement agencies.
According to Anti-Terrorism Task Force (ATF) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Trevor Velinor Mateen legally purchased a Glock pistol and a long gun in the last two weeks.
While ISIS has taken credit for the attack, the FBI is yet to find evidence that corroborates this claim.
Some terrorism experts described this as the largest act of terrorism after 9/11 attacks.
Officials and experts fear that there might be similar attacks inside the country in particular from lone home grown radicalised terrorists in the months to come.