The suspect in the deadly early morning shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando was "from Afghanistan and trained in the use of weapons, Rep. Pete King said Sunday, while noting that it's early in the investigation to point fingers but warning that many "people don't often realize the hatred Islamists have toward gays and transgenders."
"It's early to say, but that's definitely one of the factors they're looking into," the New York Republican told CNN's "State of the Union"
host Jake Tapper, noting that the information on the shooter came from his own sources. "My first thought this morning was that it was not Islamist, that it was somebody carrying out an attack because it was a gay club. In this instance, you may have both. You may have Islamists who want to show their hatred of gays and the decadence of American society."
The shooter has been identified as Omar Mateen, 29, a U.S. citizen from Port St. Lucie, Florida.
King, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said that there are "several things" that are being looked into, including "the fact that this is the Ramadan season."
"I know whether it's the European soccer championships, whether it's other events around the world, this is a time when ISIS would be trying to either inspire people or direct people to carry out attacks," said King. "I think it's too early to say definitively that this is not part of an overall plot, if there is one. On the other hand, there could well be a psychotic or a person directed by ISIS or it could just be a plain lone wolf."
King continued that when people ask him about the issue, "it's almost a schizophrenic answer. I say yes, there are these threats there. We have to constantly be on guard. On the other hand, we have to go on with our lives and give law enforcement and the intelligence community everything they need. If we see something, say something."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.