- The Washington Times - Monday, June 20, 2016

The Justice Department bowed to public pressure Monday and released the full transcripts of the Orlando shooter’s telephone calls to police, including previously redacted references to radical Islamic terrorism.

The decision to release the unedited transcribed came less than an hour after the White House blamed the Justice Department and FBI for deciding on their own to redact references to radical Islam.

The Justice Department and FBI said in a joint statement that the edits were made to protect the feelings of victims and avoid providing “the killer or terrorist organizations with a publicity platform for hateful propaganda.”

“Unfortunately, the unreleased portions of the transcript that named the terrorist organizations and leaders have caused an unnecessary distraction from the hard work that the FBI and our law enforcement partners have been doing to investigate this heinous crime,” said the statement.

The full transcript included gunman Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people in the June 12 attack in Orlando, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group and its leader.

“My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State,” Mateen tells a 911 police operator.

SEE ALSO: Paul Ryan slams Obama for redacting ‘radical Islam’ from Orlando shooter transcripts

“Ok, What’s your name?” asks the operator.

“I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State,” Mateen says.

President Obama suffered criticism, including form House Speaker Paul Ryan, for redacting references to Islamic State or other radical Islamic terrorist groups when the transcripts were first released Monday morning.

The episode built upon persistent criticism of the president for avoiding use of the term “radical Islam” when talking about the terrorist threat.

Such criticism also has become a frequent refrain in the stump speech of likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Mr. Obama has said the term risks insulting or alienating Muslims who are the U.S. partners in fighting terrorism.


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