Las Vegas, NV — A tragic and horrific mass murder has taken place in Las Vegas and as police search for a motive, the Islamic State has just claimed responsibility. Police initially said the shooting was not being treated as a terror attack but no updated statement has been made since ISIS released its claim.
According to police, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire from his room in the Mandalay Bay resort on an outdoor country music concert across the street. The shooting left at least 50 people dead and injured hundreds.
This massacre, which is now being called the largest mass shooting in US history, was claimed by IS immediately following the violence.
According to the Independent:
A statement published by the group's Amaq propaganda agency claimed the attacker was a "soldier of the Islamic State".
"The Las Vegas attacker is a soldier of the Islamic State in response to calls to target coalition countries," it said.
In a second statement, Isis claimed the gunman "converted to Islam several months ago".
The wording of the release is similar to other attacks that have been inspired, rather than directed, by Isis.
The claim, which cannot be independently verified, came days after Isis released a speech purporting to be from the group's leader.
Adding to the credibility of the ISIS claim, the group released a propaganda video earlier this year, calling for lone wolf attackers—and featuring footage of the Las Vegas Strip, that they took in 2015.
The 44-minute long video called on its supporters to conduct attacks with any weapons they could find. It also featured footage of New York City and Washington D.C.
The video's release prompted police in Las Vegas to go on high alert. This alert was still ongoing as of the shooting.
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As Newsweek reported, the FBI's Las Vegas field office told Fox News in a statement following the video's publication that it was working with "international law enforcement, intelligence, and security services agencies to share information and intelligence."
A spokesperson for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said: "We are always concerned when Las Vegas is mentioned by groups or individuals who subscribe to the idea of committing violence to further their cause.
"Our city has been mentioned in similar videos and publications but this most recent video should serve as a reminder to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity."
Naturally, this claim by ISIS could very well be lies and propaganda as an attempt to sew discord as they use this senseless violence to their advantage.
Whatever the murderer's motive was, rest assured that there are factions in the media and government who are likely drooling over the power this attack will give them.
As the information comes out, TFTP will continue to provide our analysis. For now, people will do well to remember the insidiously famous words of the former White House Chief of Staff and current mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel:
You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.