FBI Reverses Itself, Releases Full Transcript of Orlando Shooter's 911 Call: 'You People Are Gonna Get It'
Under a barrage of political pressure, the Justice Department reversed itself Monday and released a full transcript of the chilling 911 call made by Orlando shooter Omar Mateen during his deadly nightclub siege.
The gunman pledged his allegiance to ISIS and its leader when he called 35 minutes into the horrific attack that killed 49 people at Pulse, a gay Orlando hotspot. Another 53 people were injured, some of them critically.
"Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [in Arabic]. I wanna let you know, I'm in Orlando and I did the shootings," Mateen said on June 12.
The conversation continued:
Dispatcher: What's your name?
Mateen: My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.
Dispatcher: OK, what's your name?
Mateen: I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, may God protect him (in Arabic), on behalf of the Islamic State.
Dispatcher: Alright, where are you at?
Mateen: In Orlando.
Dispatcher: Where in Orlando?
The call ended.
In a joint statement issued with the call's full transcription, the DOJ and the FBI said, "The purpose of releasing the partial transcript of the shooter's interaction with 911 operators was to provide transperancy, while remaining sensitive to the interests of the surviving victims, their families, and the integrity of the ongoing investigation.
"We also did not want to provide the killer or terrorist organizations with a publicity platform for hatelful propaganda. Unfortunately, the unreleased portions of the transcript that named the terrorist organizations and leaders have caused an unnecessary distraction from the hard work that the FBI and our law enforcement partners have been doing to investigate this heinous crime."
The redacted version omitted the name of ISIS and its leader.
That version also unleashed a firestorm of derision and criticism from Republicans.
Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina tweeted a redacted version of the preamble to the Constitution:
Editing the 911 call is a disgustingly arrogant move from a tone deaf White House. What are they going to edit next? pic.twitter.com/TjfstyF3X4- Rep. Jeff Duncan (@RepJeffDuncan) June 20, 2016
House Speaker Paul Ryan called the edited transcripts "preposterous."
House Homeland Security Chair Michael McCaul released a tongue-in-cheek statement, saying "The Obama Administration just redacted the ____ out of the Orlando shooter's 911 transcripts.
[Omitted] for your [omitted]. pic.twitter.com/QqalfBARWZ- Michael McCaul (@RepMcCaul) June 20, 2016
After the the first call, the shooter phoned three more times.
In those calls, Mateen instructed one negotiator to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq, adding that was why he was "out here right now."
When asked what he'd done, Mateen replied, "No, you already know what I did."
"There is some vehicle outside that has some bombs, just to let you know. You people are gonna get it, and I'm gonna ignite it if they try to do anything stupid."
He also issued a warning.
"In the next few days, you're going to see more of this type of action going on," he said, before hanging up for the last time.