What we know so far
There is a need to go down memory lane in order to juxtapose the incessant occurrence of unpredictable and unprecedented acts, on December 2, 2015 Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people and injured 22 at a holiday party at the inland regional center in San Bernardino, California. It was discovered that Farook was given birth to in the United States, while Malik is a Pakistani national. Ammunition and bombs were recovered in their Redlands home.
In another development on October 2, 2015 nine people were killed while nine others were injured by a gunman at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, it was discovered that Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer had licensed weapons just like the killer in the Orlando massacre; Omar Matten.
Matten, was born in the US by Afghan parents in 1986, the 29-year-old killed 49 people, and left 53 people injured when he went into the gay night club Pulse in the early hours of Sunday morning EST time. This attack has been termed as the worst mass attack in the modern history of the United States. After a three hour negotiation between the shooter and police special forces, Matten was shot and killed by the police.
The motive for this act of terror has not been made clear, but the culprit swore allegiance to ISIS in a phone call he made to 911 during the attack.
He claimed that his family had connections to Al Qaeda, he had also claimed to be a member of Hezbollah. Although, Matten’s father has claimed that the attack had nothing to do with religion, he explained that his son was always infuriated by the LGBT community, which he feels might have prompted the attack.
President Barrack Obama in a statement had termed the attack as an act of terrorism and an act of hate. He further said that the attacker was a home-grown terrorist. Authorities have identified all 49 people killed in this attack.
Matten’s electronic devises have shown searches for Jihadist propaganda, videos of ISIS killings, and even videos of Imam Anwar al-Awlaki the radicalized American born Imam, who was an ISIS spokesperson, killed in 2011 by a drone strike. Security agencies are trying to figure out if Omar Matten acted as a lone wolf or was working with accomplices, at this point in the investigation it appears he was working alone. Moreover, it appears that the attacker’s motive had more to do with his own issues with homophobia then his allegiance with the Islamic State.
FBI director James Comey, revealed that Omar was on two different FBI watch lists for 10 months. Comey also revealed that there has been no proof the attack was sponsored from outside the US.
An eerie sense of mercy
Patience Carter an African-American club attendee expressed her ordeal in an interview with NBC News. She said that Omar Matten asked if there were any black people in the club, but she was too frightened to talk, then an African-American man next to her in a bathroom stall they were hiding in said “yes, we are about six or seven”. She said Omar claimed not to have issues with black people, adding that Omar said African-Americans had “suffered enough already.”