'Limited transcripts' of Orlando shooter's exchanges with police to be released

Visitors brave the rain to view the 49 crosses at the makeshift memorial outside Orlando Regional Medical Center, Sunday, June 19, 2016. Source: AAP

Transcripts of telephone conversations between Orlando gunman Omar Mateen and police negotiators are expected to be released by US authorities.

US authorities will release "limited transcripts" Monday of Orlando gunman Omar Mateen and police negotiators' telephone conversations during his attack at a gay nightclub that left 49 people dead, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Sunday.

Lynch said the conversations included Mateen's pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State group, and his views of US policy.

But those statements will not be included in the transcripts released to the public, she said.

"What we're not going to do is further this man's propaganda," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We're not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance."

On CNN's "State of the Union," Lynch said the transcripts would cover only portions of the telephone exchanges with police negotiators so as "to avoid re-victimizing those who went through this horror."

Mateen, a 29-year-old Muslim security guard armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun, stormed into the Pulse nightclub June 12 in Orlando, Florida, raking the crowd with gunfire.

The attack then turned into a three hour hostage-taking that ended with a police SWAT team retaking the venue by force and shooting Mateen dead.

Mateen, described by his ex-wife as physically abusive and given to fits of anger, appears to have had mixed up motives.

His father said Mateen had been upset at the sight of a gay couple kissing, but other witnesses said he had been a repeat patron at Pulse and used gay dating apps.

Alongside that was a history of FBI investigations into him for possible Islamic extremism.

Lynch called the Orlando massacre "an act of terrorism and an act of hate, targeted against a community, the LGBT community, the Latino community."

However, she told CNN that Mateen didn't get into his feelings about gays in his exchanges with police.

"So we're still exploring why he chose this particular place to attack," she said.

Source AFP

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