911 Transcript: Orlando Gunman Said He Was Islamic Soldier

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -
Police forensic investigators work at the scene of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday. (Reuters/Jim Young)
Police forensic investigators work at the scene of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday. (Reuters/Jim Young)

Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen spoke in Arabic to a 911 dispatcher, identified himself as an Islamic soldier to a crisis negotiator and demanded that the U.S. “stop bombing Syria and Iraq,” according to transcripts released by the FBI on Monday.

The partial, printed transcripts were of three conversations Mateen had with the police during the worst mass terror shooting in modern U.S. history, in which 49 people were killed and dozens were wounded.

Those communications, along with social-media posts Mateen made before and after the shooting, add to the public understanding of the final hours of Mateen’s life.

The first call came more than a half hour after shots rang out, when Mateen told a 911 operator, “Praise be to G-d, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of G-d,” he told the dispatcher, referring to G-d in Arabic.

“I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.”

During the 50-second call with a dispatcher, Mateen “made murderous statements in a chilling, calm and deliberate manner,” said Ronald Hopper, FBI assistant special agent in charge in Orlando.

However, there is no evidence Mateen was directed by a foreign terrorist group, and he was radicalized on his own, Hopper said.

Mateen’s name and the groups and people to whom he pledged allegiance were omitted from the excerpt. But the FBI has previously said he pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.

Shortly after the call, Mateen had three conversations with crisis negotiators in which he identified himself as an Islamic soldier and told a negotiator to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq. He said that was why he was “out here right now,” according to the excerpt.

Meanwhile, hospital officials said four people remained in critical condition Monday morning, more than a week after they were wounded in the attack.

Orlando Regional Medical Center said 18 victims from the shooting were still at the hospital and three more surgeries were scheduled for Monday. The other 14 patients are listed in stable condition.

Armed with a semi-automatic weapon, Mateen went on a bloody rampage at a club on June 12. He died in a hail of gunfire after police stormed the venue.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will travel to Orlando on Tuesday to meet with investigators.

Around Orlando, people left balloons, flowers, pictures and posters at a makeshift memorial in front of the city’s new performing arts center and at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Khurshid Ahmed was part of a group of Muslim-Americans at a Sunday vigil attended by tens of thousands who held signs reading, “Muslims Condemn Extremism.” A letter from the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Republican Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, said Mateen wrote on social media that “real Muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the West.”