The ISIS terrorist group is urging its members to create English propaganda to frame the Oct. 1 shooting in Las Vegas, which killed 59 people and wounded 527, as the actions of a “soldier” of their so-called Caliphate.
Internal communications from ISIS, intercepted by threat intelligence platform CyberEyesOn from BLACKOPS Cyber, show that the terrorist organization gave the shooter, Stephen Paddock, a Muslim name and claim he converted to Islam several months ago.
“The attack on Las Vegas is a soldier of the Islamic state and the operation was carried out in response to appeals targeting coalition countries,” states one of the communications, translated from Arabic, which ISIS sent out on Oct. 2.
It adds that the shooter “has converted to Islam several months ago.”
Another Oct. 2 communication claims that Paddock was acting under the requests of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for the purpose of “targeting the coalition governments.”
It says “after careful control and care of the crusades in the city of Las Vegas, one of the soldiers of the caliphate,” who they referred to as “Abu Abdul Bar of the United States,” had been placed in a “hotel overlooking a musical ceremony” where he murdered those attending the country music festival.
A communication from Oct. 3 noted that U.S. news outlets say Paddock’s motives are still unknown. It called on ISIS members to create English-language propaganda to push the terrorist group’s narrative that Paddock was a “soldier” of their cause.
It accused the media of wanting to “deceive” people by claiming Paddock was psychotic, and to hide his “motives” and “visit.”
ISIS published at least one English video on Oct. 3 about the Las Vegas attack. It was published through a new Twitter account, @qOKfAl8MKmbCDXC, and was noted by individuals on the internal communications.
An initial evaluation of the shooting by the FBI found no connections between Paddock and ISIS, though investigations are still underway.
“As this event unfolds, we have determined, to this point, no connection with an international terrorist group,” said Special Agent Aaron Rouse, the top administrator of the Las Vegas FBI division, during an Oct. 2 press conference.
His brother, Eric Paddock, has also said that the killer had “no political affiliation, no religious affiliation, as far as we know.”
Paddock also left no apparent messages or statements, and his social media history also allegedly doesn’t reveal any information on his ideology.
Police are also investigating Paddock’s motives. They note, according to Reuters, that he was retired and was a gambler. He had 34 guns, including 23 in his hotel room, and ended his attack by killing himself.
According to Marc Ruskin, a former FBI agent and author of “The Pretender: My Life Undercover for the FBI,” the sound of gunfire caught in video recordings suggests that Paddock was using an illegal automatic rifle.
Ruskin told The Epoch Times that it is “unquestionable” that Paddock was using a fully automatic weapon, and noted “a full auto is very illegal, and to be in possession of one without a special federal license, it’s a major crime … I would be willing to bet big money he did not have a permit for that.”
Ruskin also said that following protocol, “The first step the FBI is going to do is interview everybody this guy has ever come into contact with to try to develop a profile.” He said the profile can help investigators more clearly understand Paddock’s motives.