House Speaker Paul Ryan called on the Obama administration Monday to “release the full, unredacted transcript” of the Orlando massacre gunman’s 911 calls, slamming the Justice Department’s censoring of all references to Islam as “preposterous.”
The redacted transcripts of Omar Mateen’s calls to Orlando Police — made during his assault on the Pulse gay nightclub — included Mateen’s claim of responsibility, as well as identifying himself to police as an Islamic soldier. All other references to ISIS or Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi were scrubbed clean by the Justice Department.
“Selectively editing this transcript is preposterous,” said Ryan, R-Wis., in a statement. “We know the shooter was a radical Islamist extremist inspired by ISIS. We also know he intentionally targeted the LGBT community. The administration should release the full, unredacted transcript so the public is clear-eyed about who did this, and why.”
Mateen is known from prior FBI statements to have pledged allegiance to the ISIS chief and expressed solidarity with other terrorists. But Monday’s release deleted all of those references.
“Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [in Arabic]. I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings,” Mateen told a 911 dispatcher during a 50-second phone call at 2:35 a.m. on June 12.
“I pledge allegiance to [omitted] may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of [omitted],” Mateen told the dispatcher.
Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ron Hopper defended the deletions.