What Was Orlando Shooter’s Motive? New 911 Tapes Offer Baffling Clues

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Orlando shooter Omar Mateen laid the debate behind his motivations to rest when he repeatedly declared his allegiance to Islamic State while talking to the Orlando Police Department.

Politicization of the attack began almost immediately. Guns were the problem; homophobia was the problem; masculinity was the problem — anything but radical Islamic ideology.

The New York Times wrote that, “the precise motivation for the rampage remains unclear,” The Atlantic blamed “toxic masculinity” for the attack, while Vox said Mateen’s rampage was a product of, “America’s hypermasculine, police-worshiping society.” Countless members of the media continuously called for gun control (even for weapons that don’t exist).

The transcript of Mateen’s conversation with Orlando PD explicitly lays out his motivation. When an Orlando PD hostage negotiator asked him to state his name, Mateen replied, “You’re speaking to the person who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.”

The negotiator did not even have to prompt him on the reason for his attack, Mateen repeated it incessantly. “You have to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq. They are killing a lot of innocent people. What am I to do here when my people are getting killed over there. You get what I’m saying?”

Mateen’s transcript reveals his attack was an explicit act of revenge for the U.S. air war against ISIS, and that he did not identify himself as an American. Mateen even took time to praise Boston Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev as his “homeboy.”

Mateen linked his attack to a concrete act, saying he was “triggered” by a U.S. airstrike on an ISIS leader he was a fan of. Mateen’s 911 transcript reveals he wanted to make the motivations of his attack exceedingly clear. He repeated his reasoning and pledge to ISIS more than a dozen times.

The negotiator tried a different tactic with Mateen, telling him “My name is Andy. What’s yours?” Mateen simply replied “My name is Islamic soldier,” and elaborated, “Call me Mujahideen, call me the Soldier of God.”

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