Hoax Alert: Muslim Community DID NOT Donate $87,000 To Family of Orlando Shooter

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke

A fake story published Friday June 24, 2016, purports that the family of Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen has been given $87,000 by the "Muslin community," with the inference that it was a "payout for services rendered." This is a hoax story, intended to generate online traffic. Lead Stories can confirm the story is fake.

The story, which is attributed to only to "several recent reports," purports that Mateen's wife, who is under investigation for not alerting police to her husband's terror plot, and the shooter's father, would get "the majority of the $87,000." The donations were purportedly made "on behalf of several Islamic Cultural Centers throughout the United States."

The hoax also quotes a purported "representative from the Islamic Cultural Center of Villa Heights" of Northern California, as saying Mateen's family "are unfortunately victims to this tragedy by association and the support we provide will be unwavering during this difficult time." There is no such center. The name of the representative and It also the TV reporter who purportedly interviewed the representative are fictional.

If you see this hoax shared on your Facebook timeline, please share this story debunking it. Such fake reports, apparently believed by many people, can be dangerous because they incite hate among communities through misinformation.

  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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