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Suspected Islamic extremist shoots dead at least 20 at Florida gay club after bursting in ‘wearing a suicide vest’ and taking hostages – injuring a further 42 – before he is killed in shootout

islamic Jihad gay night club

Suspected Islamic extremist opened fire inside Pulse gay club in Orlando in the early hours of this morning
He shot more than 40 people – killing about 20 – and took party-goers hostage before being killed by police
Shooter, believed to be in his 20s, was carrying a suspicious device, possibly a suicide vest, when he attacked
Police used an explosive device to distract the gunman and rescue around 30 people who had been taken hostage
Police engaged in gunfire with the man and an officer was shot in the head, but he was saved by his helmet
FBI says gunman may have ‘leanings to radical Islamic terrorism’ and it is being investigated as ‘an act of terrorism’
Took place four miles from where The Voice singer Christina Grimmie, 22, was shot dead at The Plaza Live on Friday


PUBLISHED: 03:08 EST, 12 June 2016 | UPDATED: 08:01 EST, 12 June 2016

A suspected Islamic extremist wielding an assault rifle and a handgun has killed about 20 people after taking party-goers hostage inside a gay club in Orlando.

The gunman was carrying a suspicious device, possibly a suicide vest, when he opened fire on the dance floor inside Pulse in the early hours of this morning.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina said authorities have not determined the exact number of people killed, but that ‘approximately 20’ have died. Another 42 people were taken to hospital.

An FBI spokesman said the mass shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism, adding that they are looking into whether this was an act of domestic or international terror, and if the shooter was a lone wolf.

Police said the gunman, who was shot dead by officers, was believed to be in his 20s was not a local man, while the FBI believe he may have ‘leanings to radical Islamic terrorism’.

The killings took place less than four miles from where The Voice singer and YouTube star Christina Grimmie, 22, was shot dead at The Plaza Live in Orlando on Friday.

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House Speaker John Boehner Plays the “Gay” card to Pressure Rep. Scott Garrett to Fund National Republican Congressional Committee


Media Generated Controversy ?
How far will GOP press Garrett?

GOP insiders 

JULY 26, 2015, 11:16 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2015, 7:39 AM

Rep. Scott Garrett’s decision to stop supporting a key Republican campaign fund did more than raise questions about his attitudes toward gay people — it highlighted an often-obscured reality about the political machinery that ties congressional power to cash.

Party leaders — for both Democrats and Republicans — know that certain committee assignments give members of Congress access to lucrative streams of contributions from industries that those committees oversee.

And the pressure applied to Garrett to contribute to his party shows that when someone who needs to pay for an election every two years is put in a position to tap those streams, leaders expect loyalty and a piece of the action.

Garrett, a Republican from Wantage whose district is dominated by Bergen County voters, is resisting pressure to do both. He has a long record of going his own way when voting on the House floor, and in an interview with The Record last week indicated he will continue to do so if he believes a matter of principle is at stake.

He also has reportedly told colleagues he will not pay his “dues” to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s campaign fund because it has supported gay candidates and because of differences with the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner, whose reelection Garrett opposed in January.

It’s an unwritten rule in Congress that dues to the party committee are tied to a member’s position in the chamber. And Garrett is chairman of a subcommittee that handles legislation affecting stock markets and the mortgage industry, a post that could be in jeopardy because of his resistance.

Garrett raised nearly $1 million in both the 2012 and 2014 election cycles from employees and PACs tied to banking, insurance, securities and real estate interests, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. His latest campaign finance report showed Garrett had $2.2 million available on June 30 and nearly a year and a half to raise more for his 2016 reelection.