In the early morning hours of June 12, 2016, American ISIS follower Omar Mateen gunned down 49 people and injured 53 more at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
He pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook during the attack, before he was killed by police. ISIS celebrated the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history on the Internet, calling Mateen “an Islamic State fighter” who had “targeted a nightclub for homosexuals…” Mateen was also guided by the radicalizing online sermons of al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki.
ISIS’s Persecution of Gay People
ISIS has long targeted gay people for persecution and continues to call for anti-gay attacks. Click here to learn more.
Anwar al-Awlaki’s Ties to Extremists
Omar Mateen was radicalized in part by al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, whose videos remain available on YouTube. Click here to learn more.
ISIS has weaponized social media and messaging platforms to recruit, incite to violence, and claim terrorist attacks. Click here to learn more.