17:18 GMT30 March 2020
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    In the wake of Sunday night’s carnage in a gay nightclub in Orlando, leading American politicians, officials and presidential candidates have been looking for the root causes of the tragedy and offering measures to prevent a repetition of that deadly incident.

    Forty-nine people died and 53 were injured when Omar Mateen, a US citizen of Afghan descent, went on a shooting spree in the Pulse nightclub on Sunday night, the bloodiest such incident in US history.

    By Monday the leaders of more than fifty countries had expressed their heartfelt condolences to the American people.

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    After meeting with the heads of the country’s counterterrorism agencies, President Barack Obama told reporters that investigators were considering all possible motives behind that heinous crime.

    “So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, is an attack on all of us, and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country,” the President said.

    He added that the weapons used to kill 40 people had been legally purchased and once again urged Congress to pass gun control legislation to prevent such tragedies ever happening again.

    President Obama described the attacks as “homegrown extremism," adding that even though Daesh had earlier claimed responsibility for the attack, the exact nature of the attacker’s ties to Daesh was still being investigated.

    Online extremism

    FBI Director James Comie explained why Omar Mateen had not been prosecuted as a result of two terror-related cases in 2013 and 2014.

    He said that the would-be terrorist had initially admitted to being a member of al-Qaeda and then of Hezbollah, so the Bureau was not sure which of the two organizations had influenced his future actions.

    Comie said that on the day of the attack Mateen twice called 911 pledging allegiance to the Daesh leader whom he called by name. Mateen also expressed his solidarity with the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombings.

    Fathers and sons

    Omar Mateen could have been radicalized by the aggressive stance of his father who happens to be a big fan of the Taliban. Seddique Mir Mateen is known for his anti-American views and his support for Taliban, CBS News wrote.

    Even though he regretted that fact that the Sunday night killings happened during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Seddique Mir Mateen never concealed his dislike of gays.

    Omar Mateen’s wife said that he had initially planned at attack on the Walt Disney World theme park, also in Florida.

    Clinton vs Trump

    Democratic and Republican presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have also been very vocal about the carnage in Orlando.

    Clinton said that she was not going to exclude the expression “radical Islam” from her vocabulary, but  warned against attempts to declare war against an entire religion.

    "I am not going to demonize and demagogue and declare war on an entire religion. That's just plain dangerous, and it plays into ISIS's hand," Clinton said on NBC's "Today" show Monday morning.

    She said that the terrorists use Islam to justify the slaughter of innocent people.

    "To me, radical jihadism, radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing. I'm happy to say either, but that's not the point. All this talk and demagoguery and rhetoric is not going to solve the problem," Clinton emphasized.

    She said that fighting terrorism would be her top priority as President and underscored the importance of measures to prevent the radicalization of young people close the Internet to Daesh propaganda.

    In a nationally televised address to supporters in New Hampshire on Monday, Donald Trump said that “Our nation stands together in solidarity with the members of Orlando’s LGBT community.”

    “A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub, not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens, because of their sexual orientation. It’s a strike at the heart and soul of who we are as a nation. It’s an assault on the ability of free people to live their lives, love who they want, and express their identity. It’s an attack on the right of every single American to live in peace and safety in their own country,” Trump said.

    “We need to respond to this attack on America as one united people, with force, purpose, and determination. But the current politically correct response cripples our ability to talk and to think and act clearly. If we don’t get tough, and if we don’t get smart, and fast, we’re not going to have our country anymore. There will be nothing, absolutely nothing, left," he added.

    Trump again called to prevent Muslims from entering the US as long as the terrorist threat exists.

    “We have a dysfunctional immigration system, which does not permit us to know who we let into our country, and it does not permit us to protect our citizens properly," he added.


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    homegrown extremism, terrorist threat, gun laws, shooting spree, condolences, Daesh, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, James Comie, Seddique Mir Mateen, Omar Mateen, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, United States
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