Terror experts are confused about ISIS’ repetitive claims that they’re responsible for the massacre in Las Vegas earlier this week.
It’s rare that ISIS claims responsibility for an attack they didn’t commit, so this one could be a sign of desperation, as their territorial loses in Iraq and Syria mount.
The shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock doesn’t match the characteristic of your usual jihadist. There’s no evidence he pledged allegiance to any terror group, and his family maintains the man didn’t have any religious or political affiliation.
Paddock also committed suicide with a firearm, which should’ve earned him criticism from ISIS, had he been an actual jihadist. He wouldn’t be considered a martyr to those crazies unless he killed himself in a way that attempted to take out more people (such as is the case in a suicide bombing).
Paddock also was known to be a high-stakes gambler, and there exist pictures of him drinking alcohol (both of which are prohibited by the Quran).
And yet, every day, ISIS continues to maintain in their propaganda networks that they’re responsible for the attack, and that the shooter converted to Islam just months before the attack. Their backers have repeatedly taken responsibility for the massacre — and they just did it again.
Below are just two of their propaganda images:
In the latest message, distributed on a pro-ISIS Telegram channel, a jihadist/ISIS propagandist commented that U.S. intelligence has failed and that we “crusaders” are working “desperately” to cover it up. He pointed to when ISIS claimed responsibility for downing a Russian airliner back in 2015, which was doubted at first — until proof of their involvement was provided in their propaganda magazine, Dabiq.
In the next part of the anonymous jihadists message, however, I believe that he reveals ISIS’ true motives in claiming responsibility for an attack in which there’s no evidence of Islamic terrorism. He writes:
The other dangerous issue, if they do admit that the executor of this operation is from the State and had pledged allegiance to the Caliph – and he is white and his name is Stephen, and he did it with nobody knowing anything about him being Muslim, and who had a gun closet, like many others of the Southern White people, and is a senior – is that it will definitely cause a psychological catastrophe among the Americans. Then, any American would not know if his neighbor the white guy named Jonathan might be wanting to behead him, because this Johnathan is actually one of the soldiers of the Caliphate … In short, everybody becomes a source of suspicion, because in the past only he who has black or brown skin and his name is Muhammad and has a beard was the terrorist.
The lines that are bolded, incidentally, reveal their motivation for possibly lying and claiming responsibility for the attack.
Meanwhile, while an exact motive for the shooting is still unknown, investigators have found evidence to suggest that Paddock’s mental state was deteriorating prior to the shooting. He had “significant weight loss, an increasingly slovenly physical appearance and an obsession with his girlfriend’s ex-husband.”
What they haven’t found was any link to ISIS.