FBI Tried and Failed to ‘Lure’ Omar Mateen

The FBI investigated and attempted to trap eventual Orlando shooter Omar Mateen after a 2013 incident in which he allegedly threatened to kill a deputy. According to the Vero Beach Press Journal, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office requested Mateen—then working as a security guard—be removed from his patrol of the St. Lucie County Courthouse after he threatened to have al Qaeda kill a deputy and his family. He also allegedly made “very disturbing comments about women and... Jews and then went on to say that the Fort Hood shooter was justified in his actions,” said Sheriff Ken Mascara.

As part of its investigation, the Press Journal reported, “the FBI examined Mateen’s travel history, phone records, acquaintances, and even planted a confidential informant in the courthouse to ‘lure Omar into some kind of act and Omar did not bite.’” The FBI ultimately concluded Mateen did not pose a threat, the sheriff added.

Contacted by The Daily Beast about the report of a sting on Mateen, an FBI spokesperson issued a terse reply: “We cannot assist you on this.”