ISIS has sought to inject itself into the worst mass shooting in American history by issuing a claim of responsibility Monday for the Las Vegas massacre in which at least 50 people were killed.
ISIS claimed that suspected gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, was one of its “soldiers” who had converted to Islam months ago. ISIS provided no evidence to back up its claim.
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) October 2, 2017
Without mentioning Paddock’s name, ISIS said he “executed the operation in response to calls to target countries of the coalition” batting ISIS in the Middle East.
ISIS has often issued claims for acts of violence that it may have inspired but never ordered.
UPDATE: Senior U.S. officials say no evidence Vegas shooter was connected to international militant group after ISIS claims responsibility
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 2, 2017
Reuters noted on Monday that “Senior U.S. officials say no evidence Vegas shooter was connected to international militant group after ISIS claims responsibility.”
One Monday, police were investigating Paddock’s background.
Reports emerged that he lived in Reno, Nevada, from 2011 to 2016, and in Melbourne, Florida, from 2013 to 2015, as well as other locations in Nevada and California since 1990.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joseph Lombardo described Paddock as a “lone wolf”.
When initially asked if it was an act of terrorism, Lombardo said, “No, not at this point. We believe it was a local individual. He resides here locally.”
Lombardo said early Monday that “we don’t know what his belief system was at this time. … Right now we believe he is the sole aggressor at this point.”
Eric Paddock, the suspected gunman’s brother, has said he is stunned by the incident.
“We are completely dumbfounded. We can’t understand what happened,” he said.
According to the SITE intelligence group, ISIS has mentioned Las Vegas as a target, as has al-Qaeda.