WASHINGTON (AA) – Hours before the alleged Orlando shooter carried out a massacre at a gay nightclub, he posted on social media that his actions were in retaliation for U.S. and Russian airstrikes against Daesh, authorities said Wednesday.
“You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes..now taste the Islamic state vengeance [sic],” Omar Mateen posted on Facebook, according ABC News, which cited officials in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. “In the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic State [ISIS] in the usa.”
Law enforcement officials became aware of the posting Tuesday, and have found four Facebook accounts linked to Mateen.
Mateen reportedly telephoned a local television station during the attack to say he was carrying out the massacre on behalf of Daesh.
"I will never forget the words he said to me," Orlando News 13 producer Matthew Gentili said.
Gentili said the person on the other end of the call said, "I did it for ISIS. I did it for the Islamic State."
Gentili said he asked where the caller was, but the caller said it was "none of my (expletive) business."
One survivor, Patience Carter, who was visiting Orlando, said Mateen spared her life because she is black.
Carter said Mateen asked if there were any black individuals in the crowd during the shooting spree, prompting another black hostage to reply.
"I don't have a problem with black people," Mateen reportedly replied. "This is about my country. You guys suffered enough."
Officials are also weighing whether to charge Mateen' wife, Noor Zahi Salman, after she failed to alert authorities to suspicions that her husband was going to carry out the attack that killed 49 victims and injured 53 others.
She reportedly told the FBI that despite his assurances that he was going to visit friends, she was suspicious that he would carry out an attack.