ISIS claims responsibility for Las Vegas attack, but FBI denies link
According to an ISIS website, the Las Vegas shooter, who killed 58 people and injured hundreds more, acted as their representative, but the FBI says the attacker had no connections to international terrorist groups.
Published: October 3, 2017, 7:00 am
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the mass shooting in Las Vegas. An FBI rescue team however found Antifa literature in his hotel room, according to a source linked to the team. The team also found photos taken in the Middle East of a woman linked to the suspect, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock.
“The Las Vegas attack was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried it out in response to calls to target states of the coalition,” the Amaq, ISIS-affiliated website announced according to Reuters. “The Las Vegas attacker converted to Islam a few months ago,” the Amaq website stated.
The terrorist group said the shooter “executed the operation in response to calls to target countries of the coalition” but they did not name the attacker.
US security agencies have not verified the ISIS claim, Reuters reported, citing officials. Two unnamed senior US officials told Reuters that no evidence suggested a connection between the shooter and any international militant group.
The Las Vegas shooter didn’t commit suicide as the mainstream media is reporting, but was killed by a FBI hostage rescue team. The FBI team killed the suspect after he opened fired on them, according to the source.
Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said authorities believe it was a “lone wolf” attack, and the brother of the gunman, Eric Paddock, from Orlando, said Stephen did not affiliate himself with any political or religious group, “No religious affiliation. No political affiliation,” he told CBS News. But he could give no explanation either as to why his brother had decided to act in this way.
Eric Paddock also said his brother had no history of mental illness.
A law enforcement official confirmed to the New York Times that 19 rifles, including two scoped rifles mounted on tripods, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were found in Paddock’s hotel room.
SWAT officers were reportedly alerted to Paddock’s position after smoke from his weapon set off the smoke detector. He had also reportedly established a camera to monitor the approach of police.
It has been reported that Paddock had engaged in tens of thousands of dollars in gambling transactions at the same Mandalay Bay Casino where he was a VIP, prior to the attack.
The Daily Mail reported that ISIS has taken responsibility for the mass shooting, and the AP noted that ISIS did not take responsibility unless it was somehow associated with the attack. ISIS has issued an official communique on the attack, identifying Paddock as “Abu Abd Abdulbar al-Ameriki”.
But it has not taken take responsibility for the weekend attack in Canada, where a truck mowed down people in Edmonton, Alberta.
Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, had been known to police for believing in extremist ideology, and an ISIS flag was found in his vehicle. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it a “terrorist attack” and said he was both “deeply concerned and outraged” by “this senseless act of violence”. Trudeau also called for an end to “white supremacy” after the attack by the Somali-born refugee.
The Somali suspect who stabbed an officer and deliberately rammed pedestrians during a high-speed chase in a rented truck, had applied for asylum and was known to the security services following a complaint in 2015.
“There was insufficient evidence to pursue terrorism charges,” Marlin Degrand, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said during a press conference, adding: “The suspect was not deemed to pose a threat to Canada.”
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