Club shooter was investigated, but cases closed
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) —
The FBI says agents twice investigated the man who killed 50 people inside a gay nightclub, but closed those cases after interviewing him.
FBI agent Ronald Hopper said Sunday that Omar Mateen had been interviewed in 2013 and 2014. Hopper said agents first investigated Mateen after he made inflammatory comments to co-workers alleging possible ties to terrorists.
Mateen was interviewed twice and, when investigators were unable to verify the details of his comments, the FBI closed the probe.
In 2014, the agency looked into potential ties connecting Mateen to Moner Mohammad Abusalha, the first American to carry out a suicide attack in Syria. Like Maten, Abusalha lived in Fort Pierce, Fla.
Hopper says agents determined that contact was minimal and did not constitute a substantive relationship or a threat at that time.
Mateen was 29 years old and born in New York. The FBI says he referred to the Islamic State in a 911 call before the slayings.
The suspected Orlando nightclub gunman had been licensed as a private security officer in Florida.
State records show suspected shooter Omar Mateen held the firearms license since at least 2011. It was set to expire in September 2017.
It wasn’t immediately clear where, if anywhere, Mateen had worked as a security officer. An armed guard license in Florida requires 28 hours of classroom training by a licensed instructor.