FBI redacts Mateen’s 911 call to avoid giving ‘credence’ to other terrorists

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/06/20/fbi-redacts-mateens-911-call-to-avoid-giving-credence-to-other-terrorists/

(CNSNews.com) – Law enforcement officials on Monday released a redacted transcript of the Orlando killer’s 50-second conversation with a police dispatcher after the gunman opened fire in the Pulse nightclub on June 12th.

In that 911 call, Mateen pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State, and hereportedly mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers as well, but you won’t hear that from the FBI:

“The point of redacting is to not give credence to individuals who have done terrorist acts in the past,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Ron Hopper told reporters on Monday.

“We’re not going to propagate rhetoric — or violent rhetoric, and we see no value in putting those individuals’ names back out there. We’re trying to prevent future acts from happening again, and for cowards like this one, people like that influence them, so we’re not going to put their names out front.”

Hopper described the omissions in the transcript as “highly appropriate.”

“While we’re not releasing the audio, I can tell you that while the killer made these murderous statements, he did so in a chilling, calm and deliberate manner,” Hopper told the news conference.

He also said Mateen “identified himself as an Islamic soldier who pledged allegiance to a terrorist organization that is bent on killing Americans. He does not represent the religion of Islam, but a perverted view which, based on what we know today, was inspired by extremist killers.”

Hopper said authorities also are withholding the 911 calls made by the victims, some of whom died in the nightclub: “Yes, the audio is compelling,” Hopper said. “But to expose that now would be excruciatingly painful, to exploit them in this way.”

In a statement released Monday morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “Selectively editing this transcript is preposterous. We know the shooter was a radical Islamist extremist inspired by ISIS. We also know he intentionally targeted the LGBT community. The administration should release the full, unredacted transcript so the public is clear-eyed about who did this, and why.”

Also speaking at Monday’s news conference in Orlando, Police Chief John Mina said his officers saved many lives when they arrived within minutes, shortly after Mateen began shooting about 2 a.m.

Mina said Mateen exchanged shots with police who first arrived at the scene, then retreated inside the nightclub and barricaded himself in a bathroom.

Mina said no other shots were fired for a three hour period until SWAT teams burst in to rescue hostages around 5:15 a.m.

“Our officers were in the club within minutes, exchanged gunfire with the suspect, forcing him to stop shooting and retreat into the bathroom, and from there we let our negotiator take over and try to negotiate this to a peaceful resoltion, in an effort to save lives while our SWAT team set up,” Mina said.

Mina said every one of the 49 killings can be blamed on the suspect — “and on the suspect alone, in my mind.” As for whether some patrons died in crossfire with police, Mina said “all that will be investigated.”

“Our officers acted heroically and did as they were trained in unbelievable circumstances and did a phenomenal job,” he added.

— Written by Susan Jones