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Orlando Nightclub Killer Omar Mateen was looking for support from Varied Islamist Extremist groups

No direct links have been found between him and Islamic state.

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Candlelight vigil for the Orlando nightclub shooting held at Morningside Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Wikimedia commons
  • Omar Mateen expressed sympathy for various Islamist extremists
  • President Barack Obama said that Omar was most likely a homegrown extremist
  • The Florida shooting spree began early on Sunday when the club was packed with over 350 people

The man behind the Orlando nightclub killing, Omar Mateen expressed sympathy for various Islamist extremists. The FBI said on Monday that these extremists included the sworn enemies in the Middle East. No direct links have been found between Mateen and Islamic state, the US authorities reported.

President Barack Obama said that Omar was most likely a homegrown extremist.

Mateen, 29, was born to Afghan immigrants. He was shot dead by police who stormed the Pulse club with armored cars after a three-hour siege. In 911 calls during his rampage, the killer expressed allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey said Mateen had made comments favorable to multiple armed Islamist movements and people, which “adds a little bit to the confusion about his motives.”

“So far, we see no indication that this was a plot directed from outside the United States and we see no indication that he was part of any kind of network,” Comey told reporters in Washington. “We’re highly confident this killer was radicalized at least in some part through the internet.”

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Islamic State, which controls territory in Iraq and Syria, reiterated on Monday a claim of responsibility, although it offered no signs to indicate coordination with the gunman.

In calls to authorities on Sunday, Mateen also mentioned support for the Boston Marathon bombers and a Florida man who became a Nusra Front suicide bomber in Syria, Comey said. Nusra is an al Qaeda offshoot which is at odds with Islamic State in Syria’s civil war.

Co-workers reported Mateen to the FBI in 2013 after he had made “inflammatory and contradictory” statements, including a claim that he had family connections to al Qaeda and membership of Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah, a bitter rival.

The FBI’s Miami office investigated Mateen for 10 months and interviewed him twice but found no evidence of a crime or connection with a militant group. Comey said the FBI was also “working to understand what role anti-gay bigotry may have played” in the attack.

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The massacre reverberated on the presidential campaign trail, where Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the two likely opponents in the Nov. 8 election, clashed over how to confront violent Islamist extremists.

Trump proposed suspending immigration to the United States from countries with a history of terrorism against America, Europe or U.S. allies, while Clinton warned against demonizing Muslims and called for tougher gun safety measures.

Obama is to visit Orlando on Thursday to pay respects to families of the victims.

‘NEEDLES IN NATIONWIDE HAYSTACK’

The Orlando killings followed the massacre of 14 people in San Bernardino, California, last year and raised the question of whether the United States will have to confront jihadist attacks in the homeland for years to come.

A couple at a vigil to unite in the wake of the Orlando Pulse shooting
A couple at a vigil to unite in the wake of the Orlando Pulse shooting

Comey said tracking apparent lone wolf attackers like Mateen was like finding “needles in a nationwide haystack” while also trying to work out what kind of people could become radicalized.

The Florida shooting spree began early on Sunday when the club was packed with over 350 people at a Latin music night. Mateen fired on the crowd with bullets from an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle and a pistol. Many fled the scene.

Mateen was trapped in a bathroom by an initial wave of officers. This allowed many people to flee. However many were still trapped in the washroom with him, leading to a standoff, Orlando Police Chief John Mina told reporters.

Police broke a hole in the wall for the people trapped to flee, after negotiating with Mateen for over three hours. Soon, the killer also emerged from this hole. He was shot dead by the officers, police said.

Some 53 people were wounded and 29 remain hospitalized at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Michael Cheatham, chief trauma surgeon at the hospital, told Fox News he expects all of the survivors in the hospital to survive.

The Orlando nightclub killing is considered one of America’s deadliest mass shooting.

-prepared by Devika Todi (with inputs from Reuters). Twitter: devika_todi

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Top 3 Cities in Florida to Buy Real Estate in 2019

Looking forward into 2019 and beyond, Florida is a friendly and welcoming place to invest

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If you are like most people, then for summer vacations or to retire has crossed your mind. There is so much to enjoy for the whole family, either indoors or outside, having fun in the sun. Florida is one of those states that has it all because the weather is ideal year-round, the beaches are pristine, and there’s always a new way to take it all in.

When you think about buying in Florida, you probably think of a few places first, like Miami, and you would be right to do that. But, there are several other cities that will give you a high-quality lifestyle, while providing you with a solid financial real estate investment, as well.

Let’s take a detailed look at the top 3 cities in Florida to buy real estate, and why.

Florida
Buying a home in Florida In 2019, Pixabay

Miami, Florida

When you think about Miami, many things come to mind, but if you haven’t visited in person, it’s hard to get the full picture. Miami is a vibrant mix of old-world character and new modern lifestyle, all wrapped up in one. You can find neighborhoods in Miami, such as Belle Meade, that have homes built in the 1930’s that stimulate your senses and imagination. You can literally imagine yourself living in a new beach-side, pioneer town, just discovered by people. But, amidst the old-world feel, are touches of modern amenities, giving you the perfect balance of history, character, and contemporary creature comforts.

Another well-known fact about Miami is that it’s home to the best nightlife in the world, literally epic, and people flock to Miami’s South Beach to be a part of it all. There are famous night clubs like Liv in the Fountain Bleu hotel, where celebrities can be seen any day of the week, partying and having fun. Of course, there are luxurious condos on South Beach in buildings built by world renowned architects and designers. They can be small, yet well-appointed studios, to large, over- the-top penthouse condos.

Miami
Another well-known fact about Miami is that it’s home to the best nightlife in the world, literally epic, and people flock to Miami’s South Beach to be a part of it all. Pixabay

Another way to invest in Miami’s real estate market is buying a luxury mansion on Star Island, Coral Gables, or any number of prestigious addresses in Miami. These properties are ultra-exclusive and can have 10 bedrooms or more. They can be adorned with stylish furnishings, and have amenities like saltwater swimming pools, arcades, Italian marble, and more.

Before you run out and see the homes for sale in Miami, you might want to contact a respected Realtor, because investing in Miami real estate comes with a hefty price tag. It’s not uncommon to spend a million dollars or more on a property that still may need renovations.

Orlando, Florida

The one place everyone with kids is already familiar with is Orlando, FL. Home to Mickey Mouse and the entire Disney World family, Orlando represents some of the most innocent times and memories we have as children. It also has one of the hottest real estate markets in the nation, with a median home value of $250,000. It is much different than Miami, since most of the homes in Orlando are newer and full of cutting-edge technologies and building materials.

Orlando real estate investing makes sense, and with so many attractions (Universal Studios, Epcot, Sea World) bringing millions of tourists per year, it will stay that way. Orlando’s home values have increased steadily through the years and investors can expect to see that trend continue in the future.

Treasure Coast of Florida

If you enjoy a more laid-back lifestyle, and you appreciate the outdoors, beaches, and waterfront activities, then the Treasure Coast may be the place for you to invest in 2019. It is comprised of several small cities, such as Port St Lucie, Stuart, Palm City and Hutchinson Island. The reason that it makes sense to invest here is because there’s any and every type of real estate available at affordable prices. But, just because it’s more budget friendly, doesn’t mean there aren’t new and breathtaking waterfront mansions that can cost millions.

But, for the most part, you can buy a property for considerably less, depending on what type of real estate you want. The Treasure Coast is truly special, and one of the untouched coastal gems in Florida. The waterways are pristine and wind through all the cities, respectively. People love all the golfing communities, which are built around championship courses and amazing golfing centers.

According to top Treasure Coast Realtors, there are numerous single-family homes for sale in Port St Lucie situated on oversized, waterfront lots. Owners have deep-water ocean access, plus room for large yachts and other water toys.  

For those looking to retire beach-side, there are oceanfront condos available on Hutchinson Island in full-service buildings. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to a salty breeze from the Atlantic Ocean from your bedroom window? These buildings offer full fitness centers, concierge services and endless outdoor activities at your doorsteps.

Also Read: How Real Estate Regulatory Bill can help ailing Real Estate sector

Conclusion

Looking forward into 2019 and beyond, Florida is a friendly and welcoming place to invest your money that will not only pay dividends, but give you the quality lifestyle you want to enjoy. No matter if you want to live on the beach, near Florida attractions, or near the electric nightlife in Miami, Florida delivers. Just remember that hiring a local Realtor will save you both time and money, because they know the areas better than anyone else. Make sure you research the agents before you hire them to ensure they are the authority in the cities you want to live and invest your money.