ISIS Praises Mateen as 'Lion of Caliphate,' Urges Attacks at Theaters, Hospitals, Amusement Parks
An ISIS-affiliated media group issued new statements today praising Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen as a "lion of the caliphate" and a "hero" for slaughtering 49 "infidels" -- and calling on other lone jihadis to follow his example.
The Obama administration has confirmed that Mateen was consuming ISIS propaganda online before he opened fire at the Pulse nightclub early Sunday morning and called 911 to swear fidelity to ISIS.
"As we know all too well, terrorist groups like ISIL have called on people around the world and here in the United States to attack innocent civilians. Their propaganda, their videos, their postings are pervasive and more easily accessible than we want," President Obama said after a National Security Council meeting in Washington this morning. "This individual appears to have absorbed some of that and during his killing spree, the shooter in Orlando pledged allegiance to ISIL."
"An attacker, as we saw in Orlando, only has to succeed once," the president added.
The Al-Battar Media Foundation, which previously posted an ISIS claim for the November attack on a Jordanian police training facility in which two Americans were among the dead and released a March video celebrating the Brussels attacks while urging more attacks in Europe, released a few separate statements on Orlando a few hours after Obama spoke. Al-Battar is reportedly the media operation of elite ISIS Libyan unit Kalibat al-Battar al-Libi, which is led by a Tunisian terrorist who may at one point have been held by the U.S.
The first statement today featured a selfie of Mateen, who was credited with killing "gay crusader infidels in the city of Orlando, America" and putting "horror, fear and heartbreak" in "the hearts of the infidels" during the "great blessed battle successfully carried out by one Muslim man."
The statement goes on to slam "hypocrites in whose heart is a disease" and "fear of infidel Trump winning the presidency."
"The sincere believer is not afraid of the head of infidel America, but is struggling as the almighty Allah commanded him, and waits for the victory of Allah... the blessed battle has made the infidels [feel] horror and fear and panic."
It asked that Allah bless "Brother Mujahid Omar."