NBC law enforcement expert Jim Cavanaugh appeared on MSNBC Sunday morning to analyze the massacre of at least 50 people (as of publish time) at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Saturday night. Pulse Nightclub is one of the most popular gay clubs in the city and at least 320 people were inside at the time of the attack. The Daily Mail has reported the shooter was an Islamic extremist committing a terror attack. The attacker wore a suicide vest and was killed in a shootout with police.
Cavanaugh said it is possible the shooter was someone who regularly attended the gay bar or someone banned from the club and came back with a plan to massacre club-goers. Cavanaugh said there is "a lot" of domestic terrorists who would carry attack an attack because they "hate diverse people."
"Is it just because it's a diverse club and he hates diverse people?" Cavanaugh rhetorically asked.
"You know, there's a lot of domestic terrorists we classify that do that, they are rooted in white hate movements. So it could be that," Cavanaugh added.
"It could have been a random pick, it could also be that he targeted this club for a specific reason," Cavanaugh analyzed. "He has a lot of planning and preparation and he picked that place at that time of night. So they're going to have to pick that apart when they get his identification, when they get his wallet, cell phone. That's the beginning, car, apartment, computer, postings, writings, associates."
"Who is he? Why is he attacking this club? In he attacking it for a reason? Who goes there, who attends there? Is it just because it's a diverse club and he hates diverse people?" were among the questions Cavanaugh posed.
However, Cavanaugh would not rule out "internationally inspired" attackers, calling that possibility "unclear."
"But the FBI has also said they haven't ruled out internationally inspired, when they were asked by reporters," Cavanaugh said. "So it is sort of unclear there."
Cavanaugh then entertained the theory that it could have been someone who was kicked out and banned from the nightclub. He said "a lot of times" shootings at nightclubs are revenge killings, but "that doesn't seem to ring true here."
"I don't think that all violent mass murderers terrorize because all violent mass murderers do terrorize," Cavanaugh began his theory.
"When you have a shooting in a nightclub, you know, a lot of times it's someone kicked out, thrown out of the nightclub, barred from the nightclub," he said. "They want to get back at the nightclub and its patrons because they have done wrong. And you have a lot of times revenge motives when you have nightclub shootings. And some of those can be very bad, multiple victims. But that doesn't seem to ring true here, if you have somebody coming in with a bomb and a rifle and gun. It's not like they were just thrown out, they went to the car and came back. It's more like they planned to do this, and they wanted a high casualty count."
There was one theory that Cavanaugh did not entertain in this segment: Islamic terror.
You may recall last year Cavanaugh said we should stop identifying terrorists and terrorist groups such as the Islamist State as Muslim, and that President Obama should give a "directive" to ban that description.
In 2014, Cavanaugh said, "Islam is not calling to kill people at the cafe."
While talking about the Ferguson incident in 2014, Cavanaugh said "police have to expect to be punched in the face."