Muslim leaders condemning attack on Orlando club

American Muslim leaders are condemning the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando that killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 50 others. 

Rasha Mubarak, the Orlando regional coordinator of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), called the killings monstrous and said the group has no tolerance for extremism of any kind. 

“We condemn this monstrous attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured. The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence,” said Mubarak.

It was a sentiment shared by Dr. Aunali Khaku with the Sanford, Florida-based Husseini Islamic Center of Florida.  

"We condemn this horrific attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured,” said Dr. Khaku.  “Our community stands united with our fellow Americans in denouncing any action that would claim to justify such atrocious acts of violence. 

The FBI says agents twice investigated the man who killed dozens inside Pulse Orlando, but they closed those cases after interviewing him.  FBI agent Ronald Hopper said Sunday that Omar Mateen, 29, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, had been interviewed in 2013 and 2014. Hopper said agents first investigated Mateen after he made inflammatory comments to co-workers alleging possible ties to terrorists.

Mateen was interviewed twice and, when investigators were unable to verify the details of his comments, the FBI closed the probe.

In 2014, the agency looked into potential ties connecting Mateen to Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, the first American to carry out a suicide attack in Syria. Like Maten, Abusalha lived in Fort Pierce, Fla.  Hopper says agents determined that contact was minimal and did not constitute a substantive relationship or a threat at that time.

Mateen was 29 years old and born in New York. The FBI says he referred to the Islamic State in a 911 call before the slayings.