Gunman 'pledged allegiance to ISIS leader'

A prayer service being held in a church in Florida for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The shooting, which left 49 dead and 53 injured, is the worst in US history. The gunman, Omar Mateen, was shot dead by police after a three-hour rampa
A prayer service being held in a church in Florida for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The shooting, which left 49 dead and 53 injured, is the worst in US history. The gunman, Omar Mateen, was shot dead by police after a three-hour rampage. His wife is currently under investigation by the FBI.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SAN FRANCISCO • Orlando nightclub killer Omar Mateen had posted messages on Facebook pledging allegiance to the reclusive leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Fox News said.

"The real Muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the West... You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes... Now taste the Islamic State vengeance," he wrote from the club, according to Fox News, using another name for ISIS. The broadcaster cited Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Omar's social media accounts were taken down before they could be viewed widely by the public but committee investigators uncovered some or all of them, Fox News said. Omar also said on Facebook: "America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic State."

Meanwhile, in a roughly 40-second video clip from a documentary about the Deepwater Horizon disaster that emerged on Wednesday, Omar cursed and flippantly discussed the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

He was filmed secretly by the makers of the documentary, The Big Fix, as he worked as a security guard at a beach at night in Pensacola, Florida, where the clean-up was taking place.

He disparaged workers who were cleaning up the spill, saying: "No one gives a shit here. Like, everybody's just out to get paid. They're, like, hoping for more oil to come out and more people to complain so they'll have the jobs.

"(Be)cause once people get laid off here, it is going to suck for them. They want more disaster to happen. Because that is where their moneymaking is."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2016, with the headline 'Gunman 'pledged allegiance to ISIS leader''. Print Edition | Subscribe