The Islamic State continued insisting that they have a connection to Sunday night’s massacre in Las Vegas with the publication of an infographic about the crime filling the second page of their 16-page weekly newsletter.
Today’s release marks the 100th issue of al-Naba, which is distributed in ISIS territories and online via mediums such as Telegram and social media as a PDF.
ISIS claimed through their Amaq news agency Monday morning that the “Las Vegas attacker is a soldier of the Islamic State who carried out the attack in response to calls for targeting coalition countries.” They claimed he had converted to Islam recently.
In the new al-Naba issue, the terror group claims Stephen Paddock converted to Islam six months ago.
ISIS persisted in its full-court press effort to claim responsibility for the attack after the Amaq news agency claim with their official Nashir channel and affiliated al-Batar Media Foundation all insisting Paddock acted on behalf of the terror group.
The newsletter used the nom de guerre that ISIS bestowed up Paddock earlier in the week: “Abu Abdul Barr al-Amriki” — the American.
“The brother Abu Abdul Barr stationed himself for the invasion on the 32nd floor of a hotel overlooking a concert, and opened fire continuously on the crowds using 23 guns and more than 2,000 rounds, and died, may Allah accept him, after exhausting his ammunition,” al-Naba states.
Leaked crime scene photos and officials have indicated there was much more ammo in the room. Paddock was interrupted by a security guard, shot more than 200 rounds through the hotel room door, and then killed himself as police attempted to enter the suite.
The infographic states as “results of the operation” 59 killed — a number that was reduced to 58 by Las Vegas authorities, not counting Paddock — and 527 wounded, a number also reduced Wednesday as officials got a more accurate count from local hospitals, along with “panic and confusion of security in America and a number of European countries.”
An issue of al-Naba released two days ago before the June London Bridge attack warned that another terrorist attack in Britain was “definitely coming.”
ISIS has in the past claimed attacks that authorities found weren’t linked to the terror group, including the June attack on a Manila casino that left 37 dead. Shooter Jessie Carlos Javier had problems in his personal life including deep gambling debts, and had been banned from casinos before the attack. The multi-agency persistence in claiming an attack they didn’t have a hand in is unique, though.
ISIS followers on social media have debated the claim among themselves, with some saying they would rather see hard evidence.
On Wednesday evening in Vegas, FBI Special Agent in Charge Aaron Rouse told reporters, “We have found no evidence to this point to indicate terrorism, but this is an ongoing investigation. We’re going to look at all avenues, not close any.”
Investigators have indicated that Paddock’s life, particularly over the past decade, is largely a mystery, but they have said they haven’t uncovered out any specific political or religious belief system he had.