The deadliest mass shooter in U.S. history has a face and a name:
Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, Florida, was investigated by the FBI for possible ties to terrorism in both 2013 and 2014 but both investigations were dropped when they didn’t lead anywhere.
The senior law enforcement source reports that Mateen became a person of interest in 2013 and again in 2014. The Federal Bureau of Investigation at one point opened an investigation into Mateen but subsequently closed the case when it produced nothing that appeared to warrant further investigation.
He’s a known quantity,” the source said. “He’s been on the radar before.”
Mateen was a U.S. citizen; his parents are from Afghanistan, CBS News reports.
The senior law enforcement source told The Daily Beast that Mateen was born in New York and was married for a time to a woman from New Jersey.
Father Mir Mateen told NBC News that the sight of two men kissing angered his son.
“We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident,” the father added. “We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country.”
The attack, he said, “has nothing to do with religion.”
FBI Agent Ron Hopper told reporters Mateen may have had leanings toward Islamic extremism. The law enforcement source told The Daily Beast there is no immediate indication that Omar Mateen had any direct connection to ISIS.
The source did note that ISIS recently declared online that its followers should mount attacks to mark the approach of the holy month of Ramadan.
The message came in an audio recording from spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, released in May. Muslims around the world fast during Ramadan in honor of the first revelation from God to Muhammad. The terrorist group believes it to be a particularly opportune time for attacks.
“Ramadan, the month of conquest and jihad. Get prepared, be ready…to make it a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers…especially for the fighters and supporters of the caliphate in Europe and America,” Adnani said.
Senator Bill Nelson of Florida told reporters that he had spoken with staff members on the Senate Intelligence Committee who told him that authorities were looking at Mateen’s possible ties to Islamic State.
There was also a report that the father was being investigated as well. That may be routine in a terrorism case.
More than 50 are dead and 53 wounded in the attack, with the death toll likely to rise because so many of the wounded are in critical condition.