EXCLUSIVE: Top Gazan Jihadist Claims Orlando Shooter Was Terror Group Member

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TEL AVIV – A top Islamic State-tied jihadist in the Gaza Strip claimed in an interview on Sunday that he “knows” that Omar Mateen, the Orlando club shooter, was a member of a terrorist organization. Abu al-Ayna al-Ansari, a Salafist movement senior official in the Gaza Strip, claimed he was told that Mateen was a member of one of the groups that fall under the jihadiya Salafiya franchise, meaning the network of loosely-based Salafist jihadist groups such as the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, and the Al Nusra Front. Ansari made the claim in a pre-recorded interview to air in full tonight on this reporter’s radio talk show, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and NewsTalk 990 AM in Philadelphia.  Ansari did not elaborate on how he obtained the purported information. Ansari is a well-known Gaza Salafist jihadist allied with Islamic State ideology. The following is a transcript of the relevant portion of the interview: ANSARI: We are following of course the attack in the States and we are blessing this attack. And we are thanking this mujaheed, who carried out the attack. And we are praying and asking Allah to host him and to accept him