FBI Director: Orlando Gunman Had Strong Indications Of Radicalization

WASHINGTON (AP)/SEATTLE (CBS) — FBI Director James Comey says the gunman in the Orlando nightclub attack that killed 49 people had “strong indications of radicalization” and was likely inspired by foreign terrorist organizations.

Comey told reporters Monday that Omar Mateen spoke with a 911 operator three times early Sunday morning. Mateen also pledged loyalty to the head of the Islamic State group on his last call, Comey said.

During the press conference, Comey refused to reference Mateen by name.

“I’m not using the killer’s name… so that other twisted minds don’t think that this is a path to fame and recognition.”

The FBI investigated Mateen for 10 months beginning in May 2013. Comey said investigators later introduced him to confidential sources, followed him and reviewed details of some of his communications.

Comey took time out of the press conference to address first responders, volunteers and good Samaritans.

“You showed us the best parts of humanity in the midst of terrible loss.”

The early Sunday attack marked the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Mateen died in a gun battle with police.

“At this stage we see no clear evidence that he was directed externally,” said President Barack Obama Monday, echoing Comey’s findings. “It does appear that at the last minute he addressed allegiance to ISIL. But there is no direct evidence that he was directed by ISIL.

Obama added the shooter represents, “an example of homegrown extremism that all of us have been concerned about for a very long time.”

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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