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The Muslim man who reported the Orlando shooter to the FBI speaks out

Donald Trump has accused American Muslims of keeping quiet about the alleged radicals in their midst — a claim that many are now calling blatantly false.

Among their number is Mohammed A. Malik, who wrote for The Washington Post that while it is a common theory that Muslims don't turn in other Muslims, "it's also a lie. First, Muslims like me can't see into the hearts of other worshipers. (Do you know the hidden depths of everyone in your community?) Second, [Trump is] also wrong that we don't speak up when we're able. I know this firsthand: I was the one who told the FBI about Omar Mateen."

A Pakistani immigrant who grew up in Queens, Malik met Orlando nightclub shooter Mateen and his family at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce in Florida. In the summer of 2014, another man from the mosque shocked the local Muslim community when he became the first American-born suicide bomber in Syria. The man had reportedly self-radicalized by listening to lectures by the imam Anwar al-Awlaki. In discussing the news with Mateen, Malik said he learned Mateen had also watched the videos:

After speaking with Omar, I contacted the FBI again to let them know that Omar had been watching al-Awlaki's tapes. He hadn't committed any acts of violence and wasn't planning any, as far as I knew. And I thought he probably wouldn't, because he didn't fit the profile: He already had a second wife and a son. But it was something agents should keep their eyes on. I never heard from them about Omar again, but apparently they did their job: They looked into him, and finding nothing to go on, they closed the file. [The Washington Post]

"I am not the first American Muslim to report on someone," Malik concluded. "Trump's assertions about our community — that we have the ability to help our country but have simply declined to do so — are tragic, ugly, and wrong."