Letter by Omar Mateen, who went on to kill dozens in nightclub shooting, said co-workers ganged up on him and called him a potential terrorist

The gunman who opened fire at a Florida nightclub last month had complained he was repeatedly taunted for being Muslim in his job as a Florida courthouse guard, according to records released on Monday.

Omar Mateen responded to the taunts by telling co-workers he had connections to terrorists and a mass shooter, but he later told his bosses he had made that up to get them off his back, and the FBI determined he was not a threat.

I love the United States. The boasting I did it just to satisfy the gang of co-workers who ganged up against me, Mateen wrote in a letter to his bosses at G4S Secure Solutions, according to the documents released by the St Lucie county sheriffs office. Im 1,000% pure American … Im against these terrorists anyone of them.

Mateen opened fire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando during Latin night on 12 June in a rampage that left 49 dead and 53 wounded. It was the worst mass shooting in modern US history. Mateen, who pledged allegiance to Isis during a call with police dispatchers amid a three-hour standoff, died after police stormed the venue.

Mateen was born in New York and his family came from Afghanistan. According to the records, he told his bosses that when he started working at the St Lucie courthouse, one guard told deputies he was a Muslim extremist and potential terrorist.

An undated image of gunman Omar Mateen. Photograph: AP

When boxes were delivered to the courthouse, another guard often said: We have to be careful Omar may send us a bomb and he will get his 72 virgins, Mateen wrote, according to the records.

Another time, a deputy said his fingers had pork oil on them and he was going to rub them on Mateens shirt, according to Mateen.

Mateen told his bosses that in response to the taunting, he told co-workers he had ties to the Boston marathon bombing suspects and Nidal Hasan, a former US Army major who was convicted and sentenced to death for the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood in Texas that left 13 people dead and 31 wounded.

Mateens remarks prompted an FBI investigation in 2013 and caused enough concern with the St Lucie county sheriffs office that officials there asked G4S Secure Solutions to have him reassigned, away from the courthouse. But in addition to Mateens explanation to his bosses that he had made up the story, the documents show the FBI didnt believe he was a terrorist, and an agent told a sheriffs office major he didnt think Mateen would go postal or anything like that.

The FBI investigated Mateen again in 2014 because of his ties to a Syrian suicide bomber who went to the same mosque, but that case also was closed without the agency taking action.

FBI spokeswoman Amy Pittman on Monday referred questions to the FBIs Miami office. Miami office spokesman Michael D. Leverock said he could not comment because the case was still under investigation.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/19/orlando-gunman-said-anti-muslim-taunts-led-him-to-boast-of-terror-links

Orlando gunman said anti-Muslim taunts led him to boast of terror links
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