Orlando Shooting

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49 people were killed in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history in a gay club in Orlando, Florida by Omar Mateen, who claimed allegiance to ISIS. Philip Jones, dean and professor in the College of Security and Intelligence at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Daniel Rothenberg, co-director of Arizona State University’s Center for the Future of War, will talk about the shooting.

Ted Simons: Coming up next on "Arizona Horizon," the mass shooting in Orlando. Was it terrorism or something else? Also, we will get an update on Arizona summer wildfires. And a report on homeless youth and education was released today.

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Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to, "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. It was the worst mass shooting, 49 killed as a gunman opened fire on a gay night club. The gunman also referred to the two brothers involved in the Boston marathon bombing. Kevin patterson of equality Arizona says terrorism may be involved but this was clearly a hate crime.

Kevin Patterson: We thought things were moving forward in such a fast way of providing protections and moving us in the right direction and it brings about feelings of fear. Feelings of, are we safe at places we typically feel comfortable in. Are we safe there?

Ted Simons: Joining us now is Phillip Jones in the college of security. And Daniel, co-director of ASU's -- center on the future of war.

Ted Simons: Let's start with the idea. Was this an act of terrorism? Was this a homophobic hate crime?

Philip Jones: I think it was both. The shooter had articulated a lot of homophobic ideas. Anger. Appeared to -- this whole thing had appeared to have been kicked off by seeing two men kissing. When he gave his allegiance to ISIS, you give your oath and so he did that. That's something that ISIS has asked the lone rangers to do. It's a very complex incident.

Ted Simons: Is that how you see it, as well.

Daniel Rothenberg: I agree completely. Clearly, the choice of the target pulse gay night club was not by accident. There was targeting of the LGBT community. And what we know so far, which isn't so much, but there are clear indications that he had an engagement interest.

Ted Simons: And the president says no clear evidence of a larger network. Was Isis involved in the committing of this act? It doesn't sound like it. We don't know, as of yet.

Daniel Rothenberg: We don't know. Given the history of post-911, activity in the United States, after 911, there haven't been any cases where there has been any planning.

Ted Simons: How responsible do you think is Isis in an act like this?

Daniel Rothenberg: That's a complicated question. Certainly, we should take solace that in to-date in post-9/11, we haven't seen planned terrorists attack. The lone wolves are very difficult to stop and pose a less severe threat than a centrally-organized attack.

Ted Simons: Can you blame Isis? Unhinged loner, he spouts allegiance to Isis.

Philip Jones: It has a degree of it. The kind of message they put out. For some young people who may be perhaps mentally ill, for them, they lock on to this kind of ideology. They may be disturbed. They may be alienated. They may see a chance to gain merit. There's a lot of that in Islam, the idea that you can help yourself from what you've done before by doing is something more for Islam. And, so you see that kind of dynamic a lot. You see it a lot in places like Europe, where a lot of the people who have come back and go to Syria and come back have had histories of criminal activity and so they see this kind of activity as something that can sort of end that -- that sin.

Ted Simons: The suspect apparently had been contacted numerous times by the FBI, spouting off something about Islamic fundamentalism. He had claims of domestic violence. I don't think anyone knew about that. In any event, he was able to buy firearms and he was contacted by the FBI numerous times. Does that strike you as odd?

Daniel Rothenberg: No.

Ted Simons: Why not?

Daniel Rothenberg: It's not illegal to purchase firearms and there's a background check process. It wouldn't pick up the fact he'd been interviewed. We don't know -- the head of the FBI said the record had showed a mention of Allegiance, Al Qaeda, as well as Isis, which suggested a level of confusion and oddness in the presentation of his orientations. We don't know the nature of their interviews. We don't know the nature of the seriousness.

Ted Simons: Anyone who's looked at our alleged allegiance to alleged terrorist groups, that shouldn't be passed on to gun shops?

Daniel Rothenberg: It isn't the situation now. Whether it should be a separate question.

Ted Simons: Well, do you think it should be?

Daniel Rothenberg: It depends on the nature of the information. Making statements about your ideas is certainly not something we want to criminalize. There's an enormous danger of looking at people's statements. The FBI looked at him and looked at claims and came to some conclusion that there wasn't enough there.

Ted Simons: Do you agree that the FBI looked into this guy a couple of times and yet -- we're not talking about ideas that there's a third world out there and we're going to go on a spaceship to mars. We're talking about an ideology that is against everything the west stands for. Should there not have been more information out there about this guy?

Philip Jones: It could be that we need to go back more often and check. There's a problem with man power, certainly with the FBI. In places like France and Belgium, the investigators are overwhelmed. When you decide it's going to go in the direction of an incident, it's a psychological issue. It could be that [Indiscernible] was beginning to deteriorate. At the time when the FBI looked at him, it was sort of okay. He had really bipolar disorder and the way he treated his first wife was astonishing. Maybe the thing is, is that you just shouldn't leave it. But perhaps come back and just check.

Ted Simons: How should America respond to this incident? Whether it's a hate crime, whether it's a terrorism attack?

Philip Jones: I think we should respond. It's a matter for the United States as we do to stand up and be together as a country. The fight with Isis is political and ideological. The whole notion of [Indiscernible] is very attractive to some people within that religion. But I don't like to call them Islamic terrorists. I like to call them religious extremists. I don't think we need to tag a religion onto this extremist, although it is an outgrowth of it.

Ted Simons: Real quickly, how do we respond to this?

Daniel Rothenberg: Well, right now, I think with compassion. One thing we could conceivably learn is that shocking and terrible as 50 people killed is horrible. Most people fought in the post-9/11 era, we have seen many incidences that were bloody. We can consider how serious these events are when they happen all around the world and get a sense of empathy for all the victims in the world who experience terrorist attacks like this.

Ted Simons: Good conversation. Thank you for joining us.

Daniel Rothenberg: Thank you so much.

Daniel Rothenberg: Co-director of Arizona State University's Center for the Future of War,Philip Jones: Dean and Professor in the College of Security and Intelligence at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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