The Department of Justice will release the call from the Orlando shooter to 911 during his massacre on a gay nightclub but remove references to ISIS and religion, according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
“What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda,” Lynch told NBC. “We are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance [to the Islamic State].”
“We are trying to re-create the days, the weeks, the months of this killer’s life before this attack,” said Lynch, who appeared on every single Sunday talk show over the weekend. “And we are also asking those people who had contact with him to come forward and give us that information as well.”
Lynch told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that law enforcement is trying to figure out why the terrorist targeted a gay night club on Latin night. She appeared on the Fox News Channel with Chris Wallace and declined to say why no one had been arrested in connection with the attack, in particular the shooter’s wife, who is believed to have known about the attack in advance.
The Washington Post reported last week that the gunman placed several phone calls while holding hostages in the night club: “The gunman who opened fire inside a nightclub here said he carried out the attack because he wanted ‘Americans to stop bombing his country,’ according to a witness who survived the rampage.”
Salon reported: “Everybody who was in the bathroom who survived could hear him talking to 911, saying the reason why he’s doing this is because he wanted America to stop bombing his country.”
The Washington Post also noted that during his 911 call from the club, the gunman referenced the Boston Marathon bombers and claimed “that he carried out the shooting to prevent bombings, [echoing] a message the younger Boston attacker had scrawled in a note before he was taken into custody by police.”
Lynch informed Chuck Todd what exactly would be released of the 911 call: “We will hear him talk about some of those things, but we are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance and that. It will not be audio, it will be a printed transcript. But it will begin to capture the back and forth between him and the negotiators, we’re trying to get as much information about this investigation out as possible. As you know, because the killer is dead, we have a bit more leeway there and we will be producing that information tomorrow.”
The shooter was also posting on Facebook during the attack, writing: “I pledge my alliance to (ISIS leader) abu bakr al Baghdadi..may Allah accept me,” Mateen wrote Sunday morning. “The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west …You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes..now taste the Islamic state vengeance.”