FBI claims Orlando Pulse mass shooting was not a hate attack
The FBI has been criticised for suggesting that the Orlando Pulse mass shooting was not a hate crime.
This weekend the FBI said there was no evidence that the attack on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando last month by Omar Mateen took place because the venue is LGBT+.
An official told the Washington Post that “the investigation hasn’t revealed that he targeted Pulse because it was a gay club.”
49 people were killed and 53 injured when Mateen opened fire in the venue in June.
But some LGBT groups are angry at the suggestion that the attack was not based on hatred towards the community.
Queer Nation New York said it has “far more experience with hate crimes than the FBI.
The organisation responded to the FBI’s claims to say the shooting was “clearly… an act of hate.”
A statement from Queer Nation said: “When a killer drives two hours out of his way to murder 49 people and wound another 53, that wasn’t a random selection. When he declares allegiance to an organisation that is also known for killing LGBTQ people, among too many others, it’s not a coincidence that he targeted an LGBTQ club.
“We’ve seen this before too many times so we know a hate crime when we see one – the Pulse Nightclub massacre was a hate crime.”
Following the horrific homophobic massacre, there have been repeated claims that Mateen was a gay man, with some claiming to have met him in Pulse nightclub before, or suggesting they had seen him on gay hook-up apps.
One man has even come forward claiming to be Mateen’s ex-lover – but the FBI has rubbished all of the claims after an extensive investigation of the shooter and his motives.
49 people were killed and 53 injured in the terrorist hate crime attack,which saw a gunman open fire inside the Pulse gay bar in Orlando, Florida.
ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which was perpetrated by US citizen Omar Mateen. The majority of the victims were Latino.
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In a statement, President Obama mourned the victims of the homophobic hate crime attack and called for greater restrictions on arms sales.
In response, Republican nominee Donald Trump said Obama should resign for failing to rally against Islam in his comments.
The attack has been condemned by American Muslim leaders, who addressed ISIS in saying: “You do not speak for us.”
But millions of people around the world have showed solidarity with the victims of the shooting and the community in Orlando,
A threat was posted to Craigslist in San Diego, praising the shooting in Orlando, and reading: “San Diego, you’re next”.
Two US Marines were investigated for posting a photo with an assault rifle with the caption “Coming to a gay bar near you” on Facebook.