Most especially (and extremely quickly!) the requisite American law enforcement agencies have said that Mr Paddock was a "lone wolf" and had psychological problems. How they could almost immediately dismiss the claim that he was a closet convert to Islam as ISIS stated is a little bewildering. Especially given his tiny online footprint.
Of course we, the public, do not have all the information they have. But we've heard this sort of thing before in cases of jihad violence & mass murder haven't we? How many times have we been assured by Police and other security authorities that a jihad attack was no such thing? How many times have such attacks been blamed on mental instability?
Remember Major Nidal Hasan? He was the Fort Hood mass murdering jihadi whose 2009 attack killed 14 (I include the unborn child of one of the ladies in that number) and injured over 30. At the time this was one of the worst mass shootings in American history.
Jihad Watch has an article here which links to the Power Point presentation Maj. Hasan gave on Jihad to his colleagues before the attack. Yet the law enforcement agencies at the time maintained that it was a matter of "workplace violence" done by a man suffering from PTSD. A man who had never gone into combat. A man who was a well educated psychiatrist - seemingly highly intelligent and hardly in poverty. The American authorities have only recently changed their tune and awarded the appropriate decorations and monetary compensations to those who suffered from what has always obviously been a jihad attack.
It doesn't exactly fill one with confidence does it?
Local media here in NZ seem happy to simply jump on the "guns-are-bad-Americans-are-stoopid" bandwagon. (By the way, as much as I too wonder about the American gun laws the guy could have just as easily used a truck to kill even more people. What then?) They insist that although ISIS claimed Paddock as one of their own they have a history of claiming any old jolly attack as theirs just to get the credit. But is this true? The media seem to only really cite the one instance and this is taken apart very well in the video I link to below and in the Jihad Watch article which follows it.
I hope you watch this 9 minute video clip from a security expert outlining the reasons to believe that this was actually a jihad attack. I would add that the murderer had apparently seriously looked at another open air concert as a target in Las Vegas a couple of weeks earlier - one that would attract a very different kind of audience. A more ethnically, religiously & politically diverse audience. To me this indicates that he didn't care too much about those things. This would militate against the murderer being a "left-wing" nut who simply hated a crowd likely to be mostly white, gun-owning Republican, Christians.
Either crowd would however make sense if he only wished to attack a soft target where perhaps the number of Muslim casualties would be at a minimum.
I would urge you not to dismiss the idea of a convert launching a jihad attack before viewing the clip and reading the article below. The IS has now claimed several times that Paddock was their man. They don't seem to be worried about being proven wrong. The attack indicates meticulous planning. There was careful organisation & provision of supplies involving both guns & bomb making material and there are signs of accomplices like the woman who warned concert goers that they would soon die. There is also some video here by some people in another hotel quite a long way from the main site who detail how the front doors of their huge hotel were shot in and all the guests were aware of this. This would seem to indicate extra attackers at a very different location. For some reason this did not make the news in a big way. But watch it and see if you think these people are telling the truth or not.
To be honest this all looks exactly like a jihad attack & I would have considered it such from the outset were it not for the protestations of law enforcement.
This is a murky issue indeed but I think the following information is helpful.
See what you think.
“It isn’t true that ISIS has a history of claiming others’ attacks as their own”
October 2, 2017 2:25 pm
By Robert Spencer
This is very interesting: Graeme Wood notes here that “the idea that the Islamic State simply scans the news in search of mass killings, then sends out press releases in hope of stealing glory, is false,” and that those who claim that ISIS is in the habit of taking credit for attacks it had nothing to do with “do not have a preponderance of prior examples on their side.”
Wood does, however, note one false ISIS claim: “In June, a gambling addict shot up and torched the Resorts World casino in Manila, Philippines. The Islamic State claimed credit, with a dubious follow-up alleging that Jessie Javier Carlos, 42, converted to Islam some months before, without telling anyone. That explanation appears to be a total lie.”
However, there is a considerable number of terror analysts who believe that the Resorts World casino attack was indeed an Islamic State jihad attack. And in the course of this report, we learn this: Sidney Jones, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, says, “It isn’t true that ISIS has a history of claiming others’ attacks as their own.” And Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside al-Qaeda and head of the International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research, adds: “The propaganda organs of ISIS such as Amaq exaggerate but do not falsely take credit for attacks mounted by other entities.”
“ISIS ‘sanctioned, if not directed’ Resorts World attack – expert,”
by Maria A. Ressa, Rappler, July 2, 2017 (thanks to the Geller Report):
MANILA, Philippines – One month after the Resorts World attack in Manila, terrorism experts tell Rappler they believe the Philippines prematurely dismissed claims by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, IS, ISIL or Daesch, and asked for an investigation into its claim the Resorts World gunman was a recent convert to Islam.
The June 2 attack was “at the very minimum sanctioned – if not directed – by the Islamic State,” Veryan Khan, editorial director and founder of Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC), told Rappler. TRAC is a digital intelligence repository focused on global terrorism and political violence.
“It’s very likely that the Resorts World was a terrorist operation,” said Sidney Jones, director of the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, cautioning authorities against dismissing ISIS claims as “propaganda.”
“It isn’t true that ISIS has a history of claiming others’ attacks as their own,” added Jones. “There’s usually a basis for it, even though their media departments don’t always get the details right.”
Khan and Jones are echoed by Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside al-Qaeda and the head of the Singapore-based International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research.
“The propaganda organs of ISIS such as Amaq exaggerate but do not falsely take credit for attacks mounted by other entities,” said Gunaratna, who, based on his study of ISIS, warned Philippine authorities of possible attacks a month before Resorts World and Marawi. (READ: ISIS planning more attacks in PH and region – terror expert)
Experts who closely track the Islamic State agree: an ISIS claim of responsibility usually means the attack might have been planned, funded and directed by ISIS or inspired by the group’s sophisticated propaganda….
“Why Did the Islamic State Claim the Las Vegas Shooting?,”
by Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, October 2, 2017:
…But already I hear a familiar chorus of doubt: The Islamic will “take credit for anything,” it says, “even hurricanes.”
The doubters do not have a preponderance of prior examples on their side. The Islamic State does not claim natural disasters. Its supporters rejoice in them, but they reserve their official media for intentional acts. Of course, insurance agents and Christians, too, sometimes consider the weather “an act of God.”
The vast majority of the Islamic State’s claimed attacks were undertaken by men acting in its name, often after leaving short video statements confirming their intentions. The Amaq news agency is the preferred venue for the initial claim, usually within a day. (Sloppy reporters sometimes mistake the rejoicing of online supporters, meteorological or not, for an official claim.) If they were really so promiscuous with their claims, we would long since have ignored them, as we do claims from other yahoos who have tried to take credit for atrocities authored by others. The idea that the Islamic State simply scans the news in search of mass killings, then sends out press releases in hope of stealing glory, is false. Amaq may learn details of the attacks from mainstream media—and often gets those details wrong, also like mainstream media—but its claim of credit typically flows from an Amaq-specific source.
This Las Vegas claim may yet turn out to be false as well. They have offered no evidence—no cell-phone video from the killer, pledging allegiance in broken Arabic; no selfies of him, raising a finger of monotheism. Another absent sign of Islamic State involvement is videos from Paddock’s rifle-scope. At attacks like the Holey Bakery in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the killers have uploaded real-time images, exclusive and corroborating imagery for Amaq. As with many subsequently verified attacks, we have not yet, in these early hours, seen any such evidence.
If their claim is a rare false one, it will not even be the first false claim to feature a casino. In June, a gambling addict shot up and torched the Resorts World casino in Manila, Philippines. The Islamic State claimed credit, with a dubious follow-up alleging that Jessie Javier Carlos, 42, converted to Islam some months before, without telling anyone. That explanation appears to be a total lie. A false claim of credit in Las Vegas will effectively shred the Islamic State’s news agency’s credibility. It will become a news agency that was once reliable, and now associates itself indiscriminately with heavily armed crazy people in casinos….