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December 15, 2019
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FBI believes Orlando shooter was ‘radicalized’

WASHINGTON: The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Monday agents were “highly confident” that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was “radicalized,” at least in part through information he found online.

James Comey said it was still not clear if Mateen was part of an established extremist network or which group may have inspired him, but he told reporters: “We’ll leave no stones unturned and we’ll work all day and all night to understand the path to that terrible night.”

Forty-nine people were killed and 53 others wounded in the shooting rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando in the early hours of Sunday.

Mateen, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group during the attack, was killed in a shootout with police.

Members of the FBI and other investigators work in the area around the Pulse nightclub June 13, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. -AFP

“We are working to understand what role anti-gay bigotry may have played in motivating this attack,” Comey said. “But we are highly confident that this killer was radicalized and at least in some part through the Internet.”

“We’re also going to look hard at our own work to see whether there is something we should have done differently,” Comey said.

“So far, the honest answer is, I don’t think so.”