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Obama: Orlando shooter an example of "homegrown extremism"

President Obama said Monday that the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 people and wounded 53 more is an example of "homegrown extremism."

"As far as we can tell right now this is certainly an example of the kind of homegrown extremism that all of us have been so concerned about for a very long time," he said after a meeting with top advisers at the White House.

Mr. Obama added that shooter Omar Mateen was "inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the internet." "All those materials are currently being searched, exploited, so we will have a better sense of the pathway the killer took in making a decision to launch this attack," he added.

Still, Mr. Obama said there is no evidence Mateen was "directed externally" by ISIS or any other terror network. "It does appear that at the last minute he announced allegiance to ISIL, but there is no evidence so far that he was in fact directed" by the organization, Mr. Obama said.

He noted that stopping homegrown terror is "just as important as making sure we're disrupting more extensive plots engineered from the outside."

Mr. Obama used the occasion to make a renewed call for gun control reform, saying the country needs to think about the "risks we are willing to take in being so lax about how we make very powerful firearms available to people in this country."

"Obviously this is something I've talked about for a very long time," he added.

And asked to comment on the connection between Mateen's pledge to ISIS and the fact that he targeted a gay nightclub, killing many members of the LGBT community, Mr. Obama said organizations like ISIS frequently "target" gay people.

"Here's what we do know: organizations like ISIL, or organizations like al Qaeda, or those who have perverted Islam and created these radical nihilistic vicious organizations--one of the groups that they target are gays and lesbians because they believe that they do not abide by their attitudes toward sexuality," he said. "Now we also know these are organizations that think it's fine to take captive women and enslave them and rape them, so there clearly are connections between the attitudes of an organization like this and their attitudes toward tolerance."

On Sunday Mr. Obama condemned the shooting, calling it an "act of terror and an act of hate." He also said Sunday that authorities had "reached no definitive judgment on the motivations of the killer."

Shortly after 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, Mateen entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and, using an AR-15-style assault rifle, he opened fire, killing dozens and taking some club-goers hostage. CBS News has confirmed that Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call.

  • Emily Schultheis

    Emily Schultheis is a reporter/editor for CBS News Digital.