President Barack Obama admits that the terrorist who shot and killed 50 people at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida had been likely radicalized on the internet.
“As far as we can tell right now, this is certainly an example of the kind of homegrown extremism that all of us have been so concerned about for a very long time,” Obama said at the White House, adding that law enforcement officials were still investigating the precise motivation of the killer.
The president noted that groups including al-Qaeda and ISIS use “perversions of Islam” to generate hate against gays on the internet, but appeared reluctant to say that the shooter was acting on his faith.
“I think we don’t yet know the motivations, but here is what we do know is organizations like ISIL or organizations like Al Qaeda or those who have perverted Islam and created these radical, nihilistic, vicious organizations, one of the groups that they target are gays and lesbians because they believe that they do not abide by their attitudes towards sexuality,” Obama said.
Later Obama admitted that the terrorist was likely acting on a “vicious, bankrupt ideology” propagated by terrorist groups to target gays but reminded reporters that Islam was not the only religion that could be misinterpreted.
“That’s something that the LGBT community is subject to not just by ISIL but by a lot of groups that purport to speak on behalf of God around the world,” he said.
The president specified that there was no clear evidence that the terrorist attacks was directed by ISIS or was part of a larger terrorist plot against Americans.
“It does appear that at the last minute he announced allegiance to ISIL, but there’s no evidence so far that he was, in fact, directed,” Obama said.
The president attended a security briefing at the Oval Office this morning with FBI Director James Comey, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, NCTC Director Nick Rasmussen, and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.