×

President Obama Says Orlando Attack Was ‘Homegrown Extremism’

President Barack Obama said that authorities have found “no clear evidence” that the gunman in the Orlando shooting massacre was “directed externally,” even though he pledged allegiance to ISIL “at the last minute.”

Speaking in the Oval Office on Monday, Obama said that there is “no evidence that he was part of a larger plot.”

“This is certainly an example of the kind of homegrown extremism that all of us have been concerned about for a very long time,” Obama said.

The gunman, Omar Mateen, reportedly declared allegiance to ISIL in a 911 call before or during the shootings early on Sunday morning at a gay nightclub. He killed 49 people and injured dozens of others.

Mateen was born in New York and later moved to Florida.

Obama did not rule out that Mateen could have been inspired by ISIL propaganda.

“One of the biggest challenges we are going to have is this kind of propaganda and perversions of Islam you see generated on the Internet,” Obama said, noting its influence on “troubled individuals motivated to take actions.”

He noted that it appeared that the gunman was able to purchase a weapon and “just carry it out of the store,” but warned against a debate that framed the tragedy as gun control versus terrorism.

The FBI had reportedly investigated Mateen in the past for connections to extremist groups.

He said that “the fact that we make it this challenging for law enforcement, for example, even to get alerted that someone they are watching has purchased a gun, and if they do get alerted, sometimes hard to stop them from getting a gun, is crazy.”

“My concern is we start getting into a debate, as we have in the past, with an either/or debate,” he said.

“It is not either/or, it is a ‘both and,'” he said.

More Biz

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Confirms Placing Tickets Directly on Secondary Market at Artists’ Request

    Representatives for Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, confirmed that it bypassed conventional channels and directly placed thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market upon artists’ request, in an article published in Billboard. In a statement shared with Variety, the company acknowledged that it has facilitated the transfer of [...]

  • Costume designer Michele Clapton

    Costume Designers Fashion a Plan to Fight for Pay Parity in Upcoming Contract Talks

    The Costume Designers Guild Local 892 is gearing up to fight for pay equity in its 2021 contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, establishing a pay-equity committee to raise awareness of the scale disparity between the mostly female CDG membership and the mostly male membership of the Art Directors Guild Local [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Seeks to Stop Appointment of Special Prosecutor

    Jussie Smollett’s lawyers filed a motion on Friday to overturn the appointment of a special prosecutor in his hate crime hoax case, arguing the appointment would expose the “Empire” actor to double jeopardy. Smollett is seeking to reverse an order issued last month by Judge Michael Toomin, who faulted Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx [...]

  • Katy Perry American Idol judge

    Katy Perry Testifies in ‘Dark Horse’ Copyright Trial

    Katy Perry took the stand Thursday and testified that she had never heard the song “Joyful Noise” before she was accused of infringing on its copyright, according to ABC 7 in Los Angeles. Christian hip-hop artist Marcus Gray and the song’s co-writers claim that Perry’s 2013 track “Dark Horse” uses an uses an instrumental phrase [...]

  • Kannan Alagappan - Dish

    Dish Hires Ex-Telstra Exec Kannan Alagappan as CTO

    Dish Network hired Kannan Alagappan, who has held technology leadership roles with telecom and cloud services providers including Australia’s Telstra, Reliance’s Jio and Rackspace, as SVP and chief technology officer. Alagappan assumes the CTO role after the exit of former chief technology officer Vivek Khemka in August 2018 to join John Malone’s Liberty Latin America. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content