FBI: Orlando attack is both hate crime and terror

FBI says the shooting attack in Orlando is being investigated as both terrorism and a hate crime.

Ben Ariel ,

FBI agent (illustration)
FBI agent (illustration)

The FBI says the shooting attack in Orlando is both terrorism and a hate crime, an agent said Wednesday, according to UPI.

Speaking during a news conference, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ronald Hopper said, “This was an act of violence born out of hate that inflicted terror on an entire community. I would call it a hate crime, I would call it terrorism. It's both.”

Hopper added that authorities are trying to piece together shooter Omar Mateen's movements prior to the attack, and urged citizens who might have information to come forward.

"We need your help in developing a picture of what the shooter did and why he did it," Hopper said in a statement quoted by UPI.

Reports Tuesday indicated that Mateen's wife, Noor Salman, could possibly face criminal charges for withholding information about the attack and lying to federal agents.

Hopper, however, said on Wednesday that the wife’s status remains unclear.

"With respect to the wife, I can tell you that that is only one of many interviews we have done and will continue to do," he said, according to UPI, adding that there were "no impending charges" against her.

The FBI has also said it has ruled out the possibility that Mateen might have also considered attacking other clubs in Orlando.

Mateen called police during the attack and told them that he had pledged allegiance to ISIS. The terror group happily claimed credit for the attack in the aftermath.