Transcripts of Orlando Shooter’s Calls to Police Will be Released, Says Attorney General
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says partial transcripts of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen’s conversations with negotiators during the massacre will be released.
Speaking on several Sunday morning shows, Lynch said she’ll travel to Orlando to get a perspective on the investigation into the Pulse nightclub mass shooting—the worst in modern American history and worst terrorist attack since the 9/11 attacks.
Only a portion of the transcript will be released. “I say partial because we’re not going to be, for example, broadcasting his pledges of allegiance. We are trying not to re-victimize those who went through that horror,” she told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. She was referring to Mateen’s reported pledge to the ISIS terrorist group during the attack.
— CNN (@CNN) June 19, 2016
Her office is “trying to get as much information about this investigation out as possible, and we want people to provide information that they have to us,” Lynch added.
“As we have said earlier, he talked about his pledges of allegiance to a terrorist group,” Lynch said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “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.”
Mateen and his wife, Noor Salman, reportedly exchanged text messages during the attack, NBC News reported. According a source, Salman texted Mateen and asked him, “Where are you?” Mateen then told her: “Do you see what’s happening?” Salman responded, “No?” the source added. He then told her, “I love you, babe.” Mateen also made Facebook posts. “America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic state,” the gunman wrote, according to CNN.
While in Orlando, Lynch will meet with first responders, local law enforcement, and victims to offer support.
“We do want to be as transparent as possible in this investigation so people can see not only what he was thinking, what he was doing, but also the kind of information that we’re looking at. As more facts come to light, the FBI is sorting through conflicting information,” the attorney general told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Currently, investigators don’t have any information that Mateen was being directed by terrorist networks overseas, including ISIS. They have found that he was likely self-radicalized.
“Over the course of time, he—like sadly too many individuals—was consuming radical jihadist information online and was becoming radicalized here in the United States,” she said.
Lynch also said it’s too early in the investigation to determine if family members had a hand in the attack. It was reported that Mateen texted his wife during the shooting, while his wife reportedly made conflicting statements to authorities.
“It’s really too early to talk about other individuals in the investigation, except to say that we are talking to everyone who had a connection to this killer,” Lynch said.
In her media appearances, Lynch defended the FBI’s prior interactions with Mateen. She explained why a tip from a Florida gun shop owner saying that a man—who turned out to be Mateen—acted suspiciously inside the gun store didn’t turn into a more thorough investigation.
Lynch told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the shooter didn’t make a purchase inside that specific store, meaning no identifying information was collected.
“Because no purchase was made, there was nothing to identify who it was. There was nothing to say a name or an address. But, again, we are asking everyone to look back at any contact they have had with this killer and do what this gun shop owner did and report it to us,” she said.