The Islamic State has reportedly taken credit for the Las Vegas massacre that left at least 50 people dead and several hundred, possibly more than 400 others, injured.
What did ISIS say?
According to reports, ISIS claimed through a propaganda arm, Amaq News, that 64-year-old Stephen Paddock was a “solider” who converted to Islam just a few months ago.
“The Las Vegas attacker is a soldier of the Islamic State in response to calls to target coalition countries,” the agency claimed, according to the Independent UK.
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) October 2, 2017
Is there any evidence to support ISIS’ claims?
There was no initial evidence that Paddock was either a Muslim or was affiliated with the Islamic State. Amaq News did not provide evidence.
Las Vegas has been featured in past ISIS propaganda videos, where they threaten their “soldiers” will attack.
It was initially believed that the massacre was not connected to Islamic terrorism. The FBI maintains that belief.
BREAKING: FBI says Las Vegas shooter had no connection to international terrorist group.
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 2, 2017
How credible is the claim?
According to reporters who cover the Islamic State, when the terrorist group takes credit for an attack, it is generally reliable. Many claim the Islamic State will take responsibility for any attack, but that isn’t true.
Further, the Washington Post analyzed the language Amaq uses in its statements last year following a string of attacks that were carried out by terrorists inspired by the Islamic State. The language in Monday’s statement mirrored previous statements. However, it must be emphasized that law enforcement has not confirmed the terrorists’ claims.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated.