Terrorist attack in Orlando, 50 dead and 53 wounded!
Orlando, Florida, was the scene of one of the deadliest mass shootings in the history of the United States of America. A gunman stormed the crowded nightclub and began shooting into the crowd, massacring 50 people and injuring 53 others. Before going into the club, the gunman called the police and pledged alliance to the terrorist group the Islamic State, thus proving that this was an attack coordinated by the terrorist group who currently still holds large territories in Iraq and Syria.
The attack began at 2 AM when Omar Mateen, the 29 year old American born Muslim man stormed Pulse, the gay nightclub located in Orlando. According to numerous people that live in the area, Pulse was more than just a nightclub, it was a statement, a tower for the fight of the LGBT community in Florida.
After calling 911 to pledge alliance to ISIS, Omar Mateen went in the club and started shooting indiscriminately. People barricaded themselves in bathrooms in an attempt to escape the fury of the gunman and from where they decided to call the police. After the police arrived at the scene, the situation turned into a hostage one, with Mateen still inside the nightclub, keeping people at gunpoint when a SWAT team assembled and decided to enter the building at 5 AM. They went in with an armored vehicle and stun grenades. A brief shootout took place between the police and Mateen after which he was pronounced dead.
Initially, the motive behind the massacre was unknown, but according to Mateen’s father, the man had seen a gay couple kissing a few days ago in the same town which infuriated him and may have fueled his anger. Mateen’s ex wife stated that she thought he was suffering from some sort of a mental illness.
Mateen was not unknown to the police forces in the United States. The FBI had interviewed him back in 2013 concerning his extremist tendencies, but he was released and deemed not a threat. Two years later, he committed the biggest mass shooting in the history of the United States and, according to the officials, the worse terrorist attack on America since 9/11 in New York.
Although Mateen had called the police to pledge alliance to ISIS before entering the nightclub, there was no proof that this was an elaborate attack organized by ISIS. The usual online forums where ISIS fighters praise the terrorist attacks they perform all around the world bore no mention of the attack in Orlando. Much later however, a message was posted praising the attack, but according to an Arabic expert from CNN, the language was not consistent with the usual one used by the ISIS militants and therefore besides the 911 call of the gunman himself, there is little proof that ISIS was behind the Orlando attack. ISIS had sent messages to all its fighters from all around the world to perform terrorist attacks during the holy month of Ramadan which many think may have fueled Mateen’s attack.
Orlando is currently in a state of emergency. The governor of Florida called for a moment of silence throughout the country, while Barack Obama ordered the flags to be lowered for the victims of the attack.
Author: Raluca Ivanovici