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The man responsible for killing 17 people at an Orlando gay nightclub last year, Omar Mateen, made his first court appearance this morning in federal court.
Federal prosecutors accused Mateen of pledging allegiance to the terrorist group ISIS before the shooting and planning the attack for a year. He was indicted in federal court for providing material support to terrorism.
Mateen, a 29-year-old American citizen from Fort Pierce, Florida, appeared before Judge Mary Lynn Mazzant, who assigned him a detention hearing in his first court appearance since the shooting.
According to court documents, Mateen told investigators that on the day of the attack, he had a conversation with an FBI agent who he said told him that he was not “going to kill a bunch of gays” and that he was “just going to kill people at a gay bar.” Mateen called 911 during the attack, telling the operator to call the FBI.
Mateen told investigators that he knew he was going to be killed, and he was going to execute whoever he had planned to kill “in the strongest possible way.”
Mateen told investigators that after the shooting, while he stayed on the phone with 911 operators, another shooter wearing a suicide vest stormed the club and shouted “Allahu Akbar” several times throughout the attack. Mateen is accused of ordering the shooter to get out of the club on 3 separate occasions. Mateen also told investigators and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that he knew he was “going to die” and that he wanted the shooter to die with him.
Federal prosecutors said Mateen knew he was going to die and that he believed the perpetrator behind the attacks, Omar Mateen, would die with him in the end. Both prosecutors and the FBI acknowledged that Mateen was under the influence of at least one hallucinogen at the time of the attack.
According to Mateen’s mother, Noor Salman, she “never gave them [her son] permission to do anything,” noting that she felt “ashamed” of her son after he made some “really bad choices.” She also said she hadn’t even seen her son in months.
Mateen is an American citizen from Fort Pierce, Florida, who was born in 1979 and reportedly “had a relationship with an American woman who later became a wife.” He was previously charged in 2015 with being
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