FBI: Probe of nightclub massacre is only in early stages

US law enforcement authorities said Wednesday that it is too early to discuss any potential charges against other individuals in their probe of the nightclub massacre in Florida.

"I'm not going to speculate about any charges that will be brought," said US Attorney Lee Bentley. "It is premature to do so."

Bentley told a news conference that the facts will be made known to the public "at the appropriate time."

Bentley joined other law enforcement officials at a news conference on the status of the investigation into the shooting on Sunday in which more than 100 people were shot at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, 49 of them fatally.

They said their investigation would reconstruct the movements of the shooter, Omar Mateen, just before the attack and for the last several months in an effort to gain a complete picture of everything that led up to the worst mass shooting in US history.

Earlier news reports said federal officials had convened a grand jury to investigate the mass shooting, which had been labeled a terrorist attack.

FBI agents reportedly have interviewed Mateen's wife, Noor Salman, who told investigators that her husband shared with her his plans to carry out the attack, according to the reports. She could face numerous charges if she was aware of the coming attack or assisted her husband in carrying it out.

Salman, 27, told FBI investigators that she warned her husband not to commit the shooting, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

FBI special agent Ron Hopper said the interview conducted with Salman was one of many done thus far and said he could not comment on it further.

Investigators are looking into whether anyone else was involved in the planning or execution of the attack, Hopper said. Anyone who was "will be brought to justice," he added.

Hopper characterized the attack as "an act that was borne out of hate that inflicted terror on an entire community."

Investigators were pouring through volumes of data related to Mateen and there was nothing in it to suggest there was any other target, he said.

The Pulse nightclub "was the intended point of attack," he said.

Hopper also confirmed that the shooter had made phone calls in the midst of the attack, and recordings of those were being analyzed along with the weapons used.

Mateen, 29, was killed in a shootout with police after his rampage. His father, Seddique Mateen, said he was saddened by his son's death and his actions.

He said he agreed that the attack was an act of terrorism, but said he was not aware that his son was a terrorist.

"I wish I did catch him, that this would not have happened," he said in an interview with CBS News.

In a separate interview with Sky News he questioned why police took three hours to stop the rampage and suggested security at the club was lax.

"The club, (with) 300 or 400 people ... coming - they should have good security," he said. "If there was good security, he wouldn't have had this opportunity."

Meanwhile, police in San Diego were investigating a threat made through online classifieds site Craigslist, according to local media reports.

A post in the website's "men seeking men" personals section was headlined "We need more Orlando's [sic]," with a photo of a hand firing a gun, broadcaster KGTV reported. The post, which has since been removed, went on to say "Orlando was long overdue" and threatened, "San Diego you are next."

FBI Special Agent Darrell Foxworth told KGTV that there were no known "specific and credible" threats against San Diego targets.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25

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