The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the mass shooting in Las Vegas that left at least 50 people dead and 400 injured Sunday night, without providing evidence or even mentioning the shooter’s name.
The militant group claimed Monday morning that the gunman in Sunday’s shooting was one of its “soldiers” and had converted to Islam “months ago,” according to Amaq, a news agency linked to the terrorist organization.
According to the Independent, the language of the statement is similar to other statements the ISIS has released regarding attacks that it merely inspired, rather than directed. Additionally, some experts said that the claim could not be independently verified.
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) October 2, 2017
Local authorities cautioned after the shooting that they had no information regarding the motives of the gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock. And a senior US government official told Reuters that Paddock’s was not on any database of suspected terrorists.
“We have no idea what his belief system was,” Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said at a news conference Monday morning.
Paddock opened fire on a tightly-packed crowd of concertgoers on the Las Vegas Strip from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino shortly after 10 p.m. local time. A SWAT Team stormed the shooter’s hotel room and found him dead in what authorities called a suicide.