Washington Post Leaves out Islamic Terror in Recounting Orlando Pulse Nightclub Massacre

Law enforcement officials continue to investigate the Pulse gay nightclub where Omar Mateen killed 49 people on June 15, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The mass shooting killed 49 people and injuring 53 others in what is the deadliest mass shooting in the country's history. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty

The Washington Post declined to mention any reference to “Islamic terror” in a story published Monday recounting the 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando.

Instead of mentioning that Islamic terrorism was the motive for the shooting, the article’s author, Katie Mettler, wrote that the Orlando massacre that left 49 people dead was a “mass shooting” caused by “gun violence.”

“It had been a year since the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history stole 49 lives there and scarred countless others; a year since Pulse, a safe space for Orlando’s gay community, fundamentally changed,” Mettler writes.

Mettler talks about how the June 2016 attack devastated the victims and their families but failed to mention Omar Mateen’s motive for carrying out the attack.

Mateen, however, made his intentions known in a 911 phone call he placed with Orlando police shortly after he carried out the attack.

A transcript of Mateen’s conversation with the 911 operator shows that Mateen carried out the attack in the name “of the Islamic State”:

“Emergency 911, this is being recorded,” the operator said.

“In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficent,” Mateen said in Arabic.

“What?” the operator asked.

“Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God,” Mateen continued in Arabic before stating in English: “I wanna let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.”

“What’s your name?” the operator asked.

“My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State,” Mateen declared.

The FBI also investigated Mateen for statements he made pledging his loyalty to terrorist organizations three years before the attack took place.

The article does not mention the words “terror” or “Islam” at all, merely chalking off the terrorist attack as another shooting comparable to police shootings that took place later in the year.

“By the end of the night, more than 1,000 people had gathered to remember what happened last June, when Orlando became the first U.S. city of the summer — before Falcon Heights, Minn., and Baton Rouge and Dallas — to be upended by gun violence,” she writes.

There were some references to “terrorism” and “the Islamic State” in the caption for a video placed at the top of the article, but that has changed.

The video placed at the top of the article about the victims of the Orlando attack used to say that it was an act of “terrorism” and that it was motivated by “pledging loyalty to the Islamic State,” according to an earlier piece from the Daily Caller.

As of Monday evening, the video at the top of the article about the owner of the nightclub speaking about the attack includes a caption that says, “Barbara Poma, the owner of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, spoke on June 12, one year after the shooting that killed 49.”


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