Orlando Shooter’s Words to Get Airing as U.S. Probes Motive

Updated on
  • Government to unveil partial transcripts on talks with police
  • AG heading to Orlando Tuesday for briefings, to meet victims

The U.S. government will release partial transcripts of Orlando, Florida, shooter Omar Mateen’s talks with police negotiators as he killed 49 people in a gay nightclub, the worst massacre in modern U.S. history, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said.

The “limited transcript,’’ to be released Monday, will reveal what Mateen told negotiators as events unfolded inside the Pulse nightclub in the early hours of June 12, Lynch said. The attorney general will travel to Orlando on Tuesday to receive briefings and meet with victims.

“He talked about his pledges of allegiance to a terrorist group,” Lynch said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “He talked about his motivations for why he was claiming at that time he was committing this horrific act.”

“He talked about American policy in some ways,” Lynch added. She said the transcripts will be limited “to avoid re-victimizing those who went through this horror. But it will contain the substance” of three conversations between Mateen and negotiators, she said.

Mateen didn’t discuss his views about gay people, she said: “He didn’t get into that. And so we’re still exploring why he chose this particular place to attack. We’re asking people who have information to come forward. People have. We greatly appreciate that.”

Son of Immigrants

The shooting spree by Mateen, 29, a New York-born Muslim-American and the son of Afghan immigrants, has become a political issue as the U.S. prepares for a presidential election in November. Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate, has cited the killing as justification for his proposed ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S., and on Sunday said the U.S. needs to “look at profiling” as well.

Democrats called for tougher gun control laws in the wake of the killings, as they have after a series of mass shootings in recent years.

Lynch appeared on five political talk shows on Sunday. “We are going back and learning everything we can about this killer, about his contacts, people who may have known him or seen him,” Lynch said on ABC’s “This Week.”

About two years ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had scrutinized Mateen for possible terrorist ties.

‘Public Domain’

“I can assure you that had he indicated he was going to take action, that they would have stayed on that investigation,” Lynch said on ABC. “We’re looking back at those investigations to see anything else we should have done.”

In releasing the partial transcript, “it’s been our goal to get as much information into the public domain as possible,’’ Lynch said during the CNN interview. The goal is to help people understand “what motivated this killer, what led him to this place, and also provide us with information.’’

She declined to comment on whether authorities will press charges against Noor Salman, Mateen’s wife, who had been calling and texting with the gunman during the shooting. Lynch said investigators would seek to talk with everyone who had contact with him.

“We’re talking to a number of people that includes family members, that includes people who knew him, people who knew of this individual, we’re asking them to come forward,” Lynch said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “She’s in that ambit, of course,” the attorney general said of Mateen’s wife, while declining to discuss anyone’s status.

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