More details are coming on ISIS sympathizer Omar Mateen‘s motivation for fatally shooting 50 people at a popular gay nightclub in Orlando Florida.
The 29-year-old pledged his allegiance to the extremist party during the massacre, but according to the FBI, the gunman was was not part of a larger plot but rather “an example of homegrown extremism.”
After meeting with FBI director James Comey, Homeland Security, and the National Counterterrorism Center, President Obama said in a press conference:
“It appears that the shooter was inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the internet. All those materials are currently being searched, exploited, so we will have a better sense of the pathway that the killer took in making a decision to launch this attack.”
While Obama acknowledged that the shooter announced allegiance to ISIS, there is “no direct evidence” that he was directed by the organization.
POTUS said it appears the gunman was “not part of a larger plot,” but it inspired by “extremist information” he found on the Internet.
“One of the biggest challenges we are going to have is this kind of propaganda and perversions of Islam that you see generated on the internet, and the capacity for that to seep into the minds of troubled individuals or weak individuals, and seeing them motivated then to take actions against people here in the United States and elsewhere in the world that are tragic.”
Noting that countering the extremist ideology is getting to be just as important as preventing plots from the outside, Obama added:
“We have to go after these terrorist organizations and hit them hard. We have to counter extremism, but we also have to make sure that it’s not easy for somebody who decides they want to harm people in this country to be able to obtain weapons to get at them.”
Ch-ch-check out the video (below) to hear POTUS’s full remarks!
[Image via ABC News/Facebook.]