Ex-soldier ‘specifically flew across the country to carry out Ft. Lauderdale airport attack’ claiming ISIS were ‘controlling his mind’, after he went AWOL in Iraq and was investigated for child porn

Saturday, January 7, 2017
By Paul Martin

Five people dead and six injured after gunman opened fire in Florida’s Ft Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport
Suspect Esteban Santiago, 26, an Iraq army veteran, was taken to Broward County Main Jail on Saturday
Flew into the Florida airport from Anchorage, Alaska, and had checked his gun for the flight, officials said
Loaded his gun in the bathroom and shot dead victims in baggage claim area, according to commissioner
Santiago had been living in Anchorage for two years with his girlfriend and their newborn baby
Brother said Santiago was getting psychological treatment; family said he acted strangely after Iraq
Sources say he walked into an FBI office in Alaska last year claiming he was being forced to fight for ISIS
Santiago was pictured previously giving a one-fingered salute similar to one used by Islamic State jihadists
He was discharged from the National Army Guard for unsatisfactory performance in August last year

7 January 2017

The suspected gunman who authorities believe shot dead five people and injured six after opening fire in Fort Lauderdale International airport had gone AWOL several times while serving in the military and was investigated for child pornography, authorities have said.

Esteban Santiago, a 26-year-old Iraq war veteran, was taken into custody and was pictured in handcuffs Saturday as police led him to the Broward County Main Jail, where he is held on suspicion of murder. Police believe he flew out of Anchorage, Alaska on a 9:52 pm Delta flight and checked his gun during the flight. Santiago loaded his gun in the airport bathroom before silently and indiscriminately shooting victims in the baggage claim area in Terminal 2 on Friday about 1 pm, officials said.

The Army vet was getting psychological treatment, according to his brother, who said he didn’t know precisely what the captured man was getting treated for. His family also said Santiago had been acting strangely after returning from Iraq.

FBI investigators have not ruled out terrorism as a reason for the attack, a special agent at the bureau’s office in Miami said Saturday. They were set to pursue ‘every angle’ to try to determine the motive behind the deadly attack. The bureau believes Santiago came to Fort Lauderdale to carry out the horrific attack but chose it without any specific reason. Investigators haven’t identified any triggers so far. Santiago is expected to appear in federal court Monday.

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