Just a few minutes ago, FBI Director James Comey gave a press conference on the Orlando shooting. To call it surreal is to mistake Salvador Dali for a portraitist.
We first became aware of him in 2013, while he was working as a security guard at a local courthouse,” Comey told reporters Monday. “He made inflammatory and contradictory statements about terrorism that raised concern with his coworkers, and claimed family connections to Al Qaeda.”
He continued: “He then said he was a member of Hezbollah, which is a Shiite terrorist organization that is ideologically opposed to Al Qaeda, a Sunni terrorist organization.”
…Comey said the FBI’s Miami office opened up a preliminary investigation into the shooter in 2013 that lasted 10 months.
“We interviewed him twice, and he admitted to making statements about the terrorist organizations,” Comey said. “But he said he did it in anger because he thought his coworkers were discriminating against him.”
The FBI’s second investigation into Mateen “came about in an indirect way” in 2014, Comey said. The FBI’s Miami office was investigating a Florida man who had blown himself up on behalf of Al Qaeda in Syria – an organization known as Jabhat al-Nusra. The office discovered he had attended the same mosque as Mateen, the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce.
The FBI had kept confidential sources connected to the killer and tracked him since opening the investigation in 2013…
“During his call to 911 he said he was doing this for the leader of ISIL, who he claimed allegiance to,” Comey said. “But he also mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers, who were inspired by Al Qaeda, and Abu-Salha, who blew himself up for al Nusra.”
Comey noted that Nusra and ISIS are fighting each other in Syria.
“There is no indication he was part of a plot from outside the US, and no indication of what group he supported,” Comey said, noting that he demonstrated a “general support for radical Islamist groups.”
This seems pretty cut and dried, doesn’t it. At some point someone should have gotten a clue that if the guy is talking about violent acts on behalf of Islamic terrorist groups over a multi-year period that it might be more than a passing fad. In fact, Comey says negotiators talked with Mateen three times while he was in the night club and he mentioned both suicide vests (this, is not a traditional Christian item of wear) and his allegiance to ISIS.
But, no, said Comey: “There is confusion about his motives.”
If you still have confusion about his motives in the face of this body of evidence, well, I really question exactly what it would take, in the way of evidence, to convince you of anyone’s motive or anything.