Las Vegas Shooting: ISIS Claims Responsibility, Says Shooter Is One Of Them


USA officials said on Monday that there was no evidence that the shooter who killed at least 50 people in Las Vegas was tied to any global militant group, though one official said security agencies were examining an Islamic State claim of responsibility.

The dreaded terrorist group had claimed in a statement published by their official Amaq propaganda agency that the attacker recently converted to Islam and was a "soldier of the Islamic State". Reportedly, Paddock answered a call to arms by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old retired accountant, killed 58 people and injured more than 500 in a mass casualty shooting of concertgoers at the Route 91 Festival late Sunday from the 32nd floor of Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino before killing himself.

Unlike previous attacks claimed by ISIS, there is no indication Paddock had religious or political inclinations, nor did he leave a video message of himself pledging allegiance as some attackers have.

The extremist group's Aamaq news agency used to be a relatively reliable source of information, but in recent years has made increasingly exaggerated or false claims.

Despite wide-spread doubt amongst US officials, experts, and observers, the terrorist group is insistent Paddock was an ISIS actor who recently converted to Islam.

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The shooter's profile is also far outside the norm of any previous USA -based ISIS attacker. It turned out to be a botched robbery by a heavily indebted Filipino gambling addict.

The FBI said there is no proof the attack was linked to an worldwide terrorist group.

It came after the group claimed responsibility for a stabbing attack that left two young women dead in the French city of Marseille earlier on Sunday.

The statement, in Arabic, read, "Attacker of the #Las_Vegas shooting is a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to targeting coalition countries".

But the group remains active in recruiting followers on social media, and has repeatedly called on its supporters to carry out attacks in Western nations.

Gerges said the Las Vegas attack claim illustrates the extremely hard position ISIS faces at home and its lack of strategic coordination.