WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Ryan Zinke, a former commander at Navy Seal Team Six and member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the June 12 massacre at an Orlando, FL, LGBT nightclub serves as “a tragic reminder” that the United States is at war with “radical Islamic terrorists.”
“The victims, their loved ones, the law enforcement, and the medical professionals working diligently to save lives remain in my and [wife] Lola’s prayers,” proclaimed Zinke.
Please join Lola and me in praying for the victims, their families, the first responders, and medical professionals as we await more details
— Ryan Zinke (@RepRyanZinke) June 12, 2016
“The very plain reality is, radical Islamic terrorists have waged war on the American people, whether politicians admit it or not. As more details emerge – including the terrorist’s professed allegiance to [Islamic State] ISIS, and years of contact with known terrorists – it becomes more clear that is exactly what this is,” declared Zinke.
The jihadist behind the attack, 29-year-old U.S. citizen Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, FL, who was born to Afghan parents, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), the Sunni terrorist group that has claimed responsibility to the massacre.
“Today’s terrorist attack in Orlando is a tragic reminder that it only takes one individual to carry out a terrorist attack and kill dozens of innocent civilians,” proclaimed Zinke.
“We must change course: Radical Islamic terrorism is as much a war within Islam as it is a war against the West, and it will take a global coalition with Middle Eastern stakeholders and American leadership to stop it at its source,” added the congressman from Montana, who recently told Breitbart News he is open to running as vice president alongside the Republican party’s presumptive nominee for president, Donald Trump.
Although he has conceded that the attack was an act of terrorism carried out by extremists, Obama has avoided uttering the word “Islamic,” even when referring to ISIS in connection to the shooting, which left 50 people dead, including the assailant, and 53 others wounded.
Recent attacks on U.S. soil, namely those that have occurred in Boston, MA, and San Bernardino, CA, among others, are a testament to the existing threat the U.S. faces from jihadists, noted Zinke, a 23-year veteran of the Navy SEALs.
“We must also do more here at home to stop individuals who have been radicalized before they act,” he said. “I will continue to do everything I can in Congress to lead the fight against this evil to ensure both our troops forward deployed and our families here at home are safe.”
According to the FBI, Mateen was the subject of a terrorism-related investigation in 2013 and again the following year, but his cases were closed because of an alleged lack of evidence.