Beirut: The ISIS yesterday claimed responsibility for the Orlando shooting that killed 50 people, saying in a radio bulletin that it was carried out by “one of the soldiers of the caliphate.”

Australians gather to place candles and flags in Sydney in solidarity with the Orlando attack. Pics/AFP
Australians gather to place candles and flags in Sydney in solidarity with the Orlando attack. Pics/AFP

“God allowed Omar Mateen, one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America, to carry out an attack entering a crusader gathering in a night club... in Orlando in Florida, killing and wounding more than 100 of them,” a bulletin from Al-Bayan radio said.

Omar Mateen
Omar Mateen

The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq said on Sunday that the attack on the gay night club had been “carried out by an Islamic State fighter.” The gunman, identified as Omar Mateen, a 29-year old American citizen, had pledged allegiance to the terrorist group.

The FBI has admitted that Mateen — who was born to Afghan parents in New York — had previously been investigated, but cleared, for ties to a US suicide bomber. Mateen’s father said his son may have been motivated by homophobia.

The 911 call
Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi in a phone call to emergency number 911 during the attack. Mateen called 911 after his initial assault on the club. During the call, he also mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers. He made the call from a bathroom of the gay club and gave his full name.