Washington, Jun 13 The gunman who killed 49 people at an Orlando gay club was motivated by "extremist information distributed over the internet", but does not appear to be part of a broader ISIS plot, US President Barack Obama said today, calling it an apparent example of "homegrown extremism".
"The one thing that we can say is that this is being treated as a terrorist investigation. It appears that the shooter was inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the internet," Obama told reporters after receiving a briefing from the FBI this morning.
All those materials are currently being searched, exploited, so that the FBI has a better sense of the pathway that the killer took in making a decision to launch this attack, he added.
"At this stage, we see no clear evidence that he was directed externally. It does appear that at the last minute, he announced allegiance to ISIL, but there's no evidence so far that he was, in fact, directed by ISIL (ISIS)," Obama said with the FBI Director James Comey sitting by his side.
"Also, at this stage, there's no direct evidence that he was part of a larger plot. In that sense, it appears to be similar to what we saw in San Bernardino, but we don't yet know. And this is part of what is going to be important in terms of the investigation," Obama said.
"As far as we can tell right now, this is certainly an example of the kind of home-grown extremism that all of us have been so concerned about for a very long time," he said. "It also appears that he was able to obtain these weapons legally, because he did not have a criminal record that, in some ways, would prohibit him from purchasing these weapons. It appears that one of those weapons he was able to just carry out of the store, an assault rifle, a handgun, a Glock, which had a lot of clips in it. He was apparently required to wait for three days under Florida law," he said. But it does indicate the degree to which it was not difficult for him to obtain these kinds of weapons, he added.
Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old Afghan-origin gunman, killed at least 50 people at the gay nightclub in Orlando in US' deadliest mass shooting incident. In a radio bulletin today, the ISIS claimed that the attack on the "crusader gathering" was carried out by "one of the soldiers of the caliphate".
"At the end of the day, this is something that we are going to have to grapple with, making sure that even as we go after ISIL and other extremist organizations overseas, even as we hit their leadership, even as we go after their infrastructure, even as we take, you know, key personnel off the field, even as we disrupt external plots, that one of the biggest challenges we are going to have is this kind of propaganda and perversions of Islam that you see generated on the internet," he said.