FBI says no evidence that Orlando shooter targeted club because it was a gay hangout

More than a month after the shooting at the Orlando night club Pulse - and more than a month after the narrative about a "hate crime" rather than an Islamic terrorist attack was created - the FBI announced that they can find no evidence that the shooter, Omar Mateen, targeted the club because it was a gay hangout.

Washington Post:

“While there can be no denying the significant impact on the gay community, the investigation hasn’t revealed that he targeted Pulse because it was a gay club,” a U.S. law enforcement official said.

More than a month after the shooting at the Orlando night club Pulse - and more than a month after the narrative about a "hate crime" rather than an Islamic terrorist attack was created - the FBI announced that they can find no evidence that the shooter, Omar Mateen, targeted the club because it was a gay hangout.

Washington Post:

“While there can be no denying the significant impact on the gay community, the investigation hasn’t revealed that he targeted Pulse because it was a gay club,” a U.S. law enforcement official said.

Soon after the shooting in the early morning of June 12, top U.S officials such as the FBI director and U.S. attorney general described it as both a hate crime and an act of Islamic terrorism. The shooting rattled the gay community, which felt singled out by Mateen.

“People often act out of more than one motivation,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in the days after the attack. “This was clearly an act of terror and an act of hate.”

A month later, though, a complete picture of what motivated Mateen remains murky and may never be known since he was killed in a shootout with police and did not leave a manifesto. Officials said there is no evidence thus far that Mateen, 29, was gay or that his attack was motivated by homophobia.

The assessment is based on interviews and an examination of his computer and other electronic media.

After the attack, speculation surfaced that Mateen was gay as people came forward to say they had seen him at the club previously and had contact with him on gay dating apps. One man told the Spanish-language television network Univision that he had slept with Mateen.

Even Mateen’s first wife, Sitora Yusufiy, raised the possibility that Mateen was possibly gay but conceded it was a suspicion and nothing more. His current wife did not think he was gay, according to a person familiar with the case.

The FBI, however, has been unable to verify that Mateen used gay dating apps and instead has found evidence that Mateen was cheating on his wife with other women.

Officials said there is nothing to suggest that he attempted to cover up his tracks by deleting files. They also added he did not make gay slurs during the shooting spree inside the club, based on witnesses.

 

This doesn't lessen the tragedy for all the victims - gay and straight - who lost their lives. But the rank dishonesty involved in foisting a fantasy on the public to explain the attack should be called out. Groups have raised money by claiming this was a hate crime. Individuals have gained notoriety by advancing the narrative with the media. There were several attempts to smear conservative groups by comparing Mateen's "homophobia" with the perception that the right hates gays.

Good luck changing the story at this point. Too many people have too much invested in the lie and will go to their grave claiming that Omar Mateen - just like many Americans - hated gay people and wanted to kill them.