World America 12 Jun 2016 Orlando shooting sus ...

Orlando shooting suspect of Afghan descent, may have Islamist leanings

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Published Jun 12, 2016, 6:13 pm IST
Updated Jun 12, 2016, 9:18 pm IST
It was not immediately clear how the shooter died, or how many people were wounded in the shooting.
 Police officers direct family members away from a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando. (Photo: AP)
  Police officers direct family members away from a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando. (Photo: AP)

Orlando:  The shooter who killed 50 people and injured 53 in a Florida nightclub has been identified as a citizen of Afghan descent, US television networks reported on Sunday.

Quoting law enforcement sources, CBS News named the shooter as Omar Mateen, who was born to Afghan parents in 1986 and lived in Port St Lucie, Florida.

 

The network reported that Mateen -- who died in a shootout with police after the hostage siege -- has no apparent criminal history and that authorities are investigating whether he had ties to Islamic extremism.

"Any time we have potentially dozens of victims in our communities, that I think we can qualify that as a terrorist activity. Whether that's a domestic terrorist or international one is something we'll get to the bottom of," said Danny Banks, of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Office, on whether it could be classified as a terrorist incident.

 

Asked whether there was any reason to believe there was a connection to Islamist terrorism, FBI special agent Ron Harper said investigators would be looking into "all angles."

"We do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings toward that particular ideology but we can't say definitively," he said.

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