Orlando Shooter Referenced Tsarnaev Brothers During Massacre
Update: Monday, 2:15 p.m.
In one of his 911 calls during the rampage, Mateen told the operator the Tsarnaev brothers his “homeboys,” Special Agent in Charge Harold H. Shaw of the FBI’s Boston office said in a statement. “At this point in time, all evidence collected to date shows no connection between Mateen and the Tsarnaev brothers,” Shaw said.
Omar Mateen, the Florida man whose late-night rampage in an Orlando nightclub Sunday was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, referenced the Tsarnaev brothers during the massacre and pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.
Mateen, 29, opened fire inside Pulse, a popular gay nightclub, killing 49 people and injuring 53 before he was shot and killed by police. Authorities say the former private security officer called 911 to declare his loyalty to ISIS, while making reference to the two brothers responsible for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
“During a conference call with federal law enforcement officials a short time ago, Massachusetts State Police and other local law enforcement authorities learned that the Orlando nightclub gunman, during his rampage, pledged allegiance to ISIS and referenced the Tsarnaev brothers, the terrorists who exploded bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon,” State Police said in a statement.
The FBI had interviewed Mateen twice in 2013 and 2014, but was not found to be a threat, the agency said.
“As previously stated, the names of the gunman and his wife did not appear in any databases of potential terrorist suspects maintained by local authorities; however, law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts continue to work with federal authorities to learn more about the nature of the statement about the Tsarnaev brothers attributed to the Orlando terrorist,” State Police said.
MSP and partner agencies have found no connection to Massachusetts on part of Orlando shooter and his spouse.
— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) June 12, 2016
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev exploded two pressure cooker bombs at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring hundreds. Tamerlan was killed while evading police, while Dzhokhar was sentenced to death for his role in the bombing. The two brothers were also accused of killing MIT Police officer Sean Collier.