(WSJ) Holed up in an Orlando nightclub and surrounded by police, Omar Mateen told a hostage negotiator that he was angry about the death of a top Islamic State operative, according to recently released transcripts of their phone conversations during Mateen’s massacre earlier this year.
The new details of the conversations, released by Orlando Police last week, show Mateen had more than a passing interest in Islamic State, counterterrorism experts said. He specifically singled out the death of Abu Wahib, one of the more visible leaders of the terror group, as one of the main motivations for his attack. Abu Wahib was killed in an airstrike in Iraq just weeks before Mateen opened fire at the Pulse nightclub in June in an attack that killed 49 people and wounded 53. Mateen died in a shootout with police.
“Yo, the airstrike that killed Abu Wahid a few weeks ago—That’s what triggered it, okay?” he told the police negotiator, an apparent reference in the transcript to the Islamic State commander.
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