News World Gunman threatened to strap bombs to hostages
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Gunman threatened to strap bombs to hostages

Omar Mateen threatened to strap explosives to his hostages.
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Orlando gunman Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and threatened toto strap explosives to his hostages, according to transcripts released by the US Justice Department and the FBI.

The release of the full transcript of the phone conversation between the Orlando shooter and 911 police operators came a few hours after the FBI had issued an edited transcript of the calls.

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In the full transcript, Mateen is quoted pledging allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Mateen, 29, killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Florida on June 12, in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

He threatened to detonate a car rigged with bombs and to strap hostages into explosive vests, according to transcripts of the 911 calls he made while police tried to rescue people trapped in the club.

“While the killer made these murderous statements, he did so in a chilling, calm and deliberate manner,” FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ron Hopper told a news conference.

The FBI and Justice Department said they had released a redacted transcript of the conversations because of sensitivity to the interests of survivors and victims’ families, and the integrity of the investigation.

But the first transcript led US House of Representative Speaker Paul Ryan and other politicians to call for the release of a full transcript after a political battle over gun violence brewed in the US Congress.

Holes in the wall of the nightclub through which police tried to gain access. Photo: Getty.
Holes in the wall of the nightclub through which police tried to gain access. Photo: Getty.

Mateen’s conversations with a dispatcher and crisis negotiators were made public as police sought to fend off criticism that they may have acted too slowly to end a three-hour standoff at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

“You people are gonna get it and I’m gonna ignite it if they try to do anything stupid,” Mateen said during one of the calls, according to the FBI transcript.

The US Justice Department and the FBI have released what they say is the complete transcript of the phone conversation between the Orlando shooter and 911 police operators in which the gunman pledges allegiance to Islamic State’s leader.

“I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State,” a statement by the Justice Department and the FBI quoted gunman Omar Mateen as saying.

The statement said the reason why only a redacted transcript of the conversations was released earlier on Monday was sensitivity to the interests of survivors and victims’ families, and the integrity of the investigation.