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At Mateen placed a call to 911, at which point he professed his “allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.” Police reported that they had hemmed in Mateen in the bathroom area, and the posture of the law-enforcement response shifted from an active shooter engagement to a hostage situation.

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During these calls, Mateen claimed that he had placed a bomb in one of the cars parked outside and stated that he was wearing an explosive vest similar to those used by the November 2015 Paris attackers.Mateen also searched the Internet for news coverage of the attack from his phone and exchanged text messages with his wife.On the night of the attack, the club was hosting its popular Latin Night, an event that drew from a broad cross section of the community.Just after on June 12, 2016, more than 300 people were inside the club when Mateen opened fire near the entrance.At the Orlando police triggered the first of several controlled detonations before smashing through the wall of the club with an armoured vehicle.

Hostages poured out of the building, and Mateen was killed after engaging almost a dozen police officers in a gun battle.

There was no evidence that he had been directed to make the attack by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also called ISIS), and the declaration of allegiance that he made to ISIL in his 911 phone call was just the latest in a series of contradictory statements along such lines made by Mateen.

At various times, he had claimed solidarity with Hezbollah (a Lebanese Shīʿite militia allied with Syrian Pres.

Bashar al-Assad), the Nusrah Front (a Syrian al-Qaeda client engaging in open warfare with Assad), and ISIL (which was fighting both of the previous groups).

Mateen’s seeming inability to distinguish between these competing ideologies made his apparent self-radicalization no less dangerous, and it emphasized the threat posed by so-called “lone wolf” terrorists.

Over the next 20 minutes, a harrowing portrait of the events inside Pulse was relayed to emergency services operators, police dispatchers, and social media outlets.