Orlando terror attack tied to ISIS ‘kill list’?

Orlando shooter Omar Mateen "pledged allegiance" to ISIS before his rampage; was he influenced by an ISIS kill-list, which included the names of 500 people in Florida?

Did ISIS kill list influence domestic terrorist? - photo credit - Silence is Consent

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2016 — America is once again the scene of a bloody domestic terrorism attack, this time in Orlando, Florida. The FBI and local authorities have identified Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County, Florida, as the shooter who killed 49 and injured 53 at Pulse, a gay nightclub.

Was the Orlando attack tied to a recently released ISIS “Kill List” that named Florida as a target? Fox News reports that ISIS claims responsibility for the attack. CNN reports that Mateen called 911 just before entering the nightclub, pledged allegiance to ISIS and mentioned the Boston bombers.

Some news organizations have suggested that the worst terror assault on American soil since 9/11 was an anti-gay hate crime. President Obama did not. Finally, he did not lead from behind on this terrorist tragedy.

A shooting in Orlando: Time enough for politics

In a White House news conference, the president said, “We know enough to say this was an act of terror and act of hate.” Those accustomed to Obama’s instinctive response to treat terrorist attacks in America as simple crimes facilitated by weak gun control laws might have been surprised that he immediately identified Orlando as a terrorist attack.

There were warning signs from ISIS as recent as last week. According to Florida KLEW-TV, the “United Cyber Caliphate,” a pro-ISIS group released a kill-list that targeted at least 600 Florida residents. Former FBI agent Stuart Kaplan was alarmed by the list threat, which provided the names, addresses and even emails of thousands of American citizens.

The serious threat posed by this ISIS-related terrorist group cannot be understated. This same group threatened President Obama and hacked the U.S. Central Command’s 54,000 Twitter accounts.

Both Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer declared a state of emergency that covers the city as well as Orange County. The victims’ families and the nation are dealing with memories of earlier terrorist attacks. Until this morning, the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007 and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, where 32 and 27 were killed, were the nation’s deadliest mass shootings.

One of the most important safety tools one can have during a terrorist attack turns out to be a cell phone. These were effectively used by many club patrons who were trapped inside the nightclub during the attack. Law enforcement officials were able to speak with and receive texts in real time from the people who were hiding or being held hostage by the gunman.

Could this terrorist assault have been prevented?

The 29-year-old Mateen’s social media postings on Facebook, Twitter and Myspace may hold some clues. According to CNN, the FBI had investigated the former security guard for possible ties to Islamic extremism and had opened two cases against him. Unfortunately for his victims, the FBI closed both cases for lack of evidence.

Despite the predictable protests of gun control advocates and some state and local officials, ISIS-inspired terrorists are not interested in abiding by gun control laws. They are at war with America’s values and principles. According to Fox News, an ATF official said that Mateen had a statewide firearms license and legally purchased two guns, a handgun and a long gun, a week before the shooting.

In the end, this lone-terrorist attack may not have been readily predictable. What is predictable is how Americans prepare and defend themselves ahead of time for possible attacks of all kinds. We should always be aware of the exits before entering any building. Make certain that your cell phone is fully charged before you attend an event or go to a store, movie or mall.

50 dead, 53 hurt in Orlando gay nightclub terrorist attack

The 49 who died inside the club and the 53 who were injured are certainly a reminder that the war on terrorism is firmly entrenched on American soil.

To be effective against domestic terrorism, America’s leaders and its president must call the murderers by their name: extreme Islamic terrorists. Stop pretending that the enemy does not exist End the political correctness. To continue to do so will be at the nation’s peril.

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Kevin Fobbs
Kevin Fobbs began writing professionally in 1975. He has been published in the "New York Times," and has written for the "Detroit News," "Michigan Chronicle," “GOPUSA,” "Soul Source" and "Writers Digest" magazines as well as the Ann Arbor and Cleveland "Examiner," "Free Patriot," "Conservatives4 Palin" and "Positively Republican." The former daily host of The Kevin Fobbs Show on conservative News Talk WDTK - 1400 AM in Detroit, he is also a published author. His Christian children’s book, “Is There a Lion in My Kitchen,” hit bookstores in 2014. He writes for Communities Digital News, and his weekly show "Standing at Freedom’s Gate" on Community Digital News Hour tackles the latest national and international issues of freedom, faith and protecting the homeland and heartland of America as well as solutions that are needed. Fobbs also writes for Clash Daily, Renew America and BuzzPo. He covers Second Amendment, Illegal Immigration, Pro-Life, patriotism, terrorism and other domestic and foreign affairs issues. As the former 12-year Community Concerns columnist with The Detroit News, he covered community, family relations, domestic abuse, education, business, government relations, and community and business dispute resolution. Fobbs obtained a political science and journalism degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1978 and attended Wayne State University Law School. He spearheaded and managed state and national campaigns as well as several of President George W. Bush's White House initiatives in areas including Education, Social Security, Welfare Reform, and Faith-Based Initiatives.