ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The names of groups and people to whom the Orlando gunman Omar Mateen pledged allegiance are no longer being omitted by the FBI from transcripts of his conversations with authorities during the shooting.
Authorities released a more complete transcript Monday afternoon, saying their earlier decision to withhold the names caused an unnecessary distraction.
The transcript now includes Mateen’s name and confirms he pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, during phone conversations with crisis negotiators.
A statement from the Justice Department says the names were initially omitted so as not to give extremists a publicity platform for hateful propaganda. But the FBI had previously said Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and other organizations.