Las Vegas Shooting: ISIS Claims Responsibility, Says Shooter Is One Of Them

At least 58 people have been killed and more than 500 wounded in the deadliest mass shooting ever in American history.

USA officials say Paddock, a consummate gambler, bought 33 weapons in the previous year. In the past, ISIS has spuriously asserted attacks were carried out on its behalf.

Investigators have not found evidence linking Paddock to any foreign terror group, and he was not known to have strong religious beliefs.

The extremist group's Aamaq news agency used to be a relatively reliable source of information, but in recent years has made increasingly exaggerated or false claims.

Isis was also linked to a vehicle and knife attack in Edmonton, Canada, where a police officer found a flag used by the group in the perpetrator's auto.

In June, the group claimed an attack by a gunman who ignited a casino fire that left 36 people dead in the Philippine capital, Manila. Both were said to have been planned and directed by ISIS.

Authorities have yet to identify a motive for the shooting, and said initially there was no evidence of any connection to global terrorism.

The militants lost Mosul, their biggest prize and last major stronghold in Iraq, in July after a grueling months-long battle, and are now holed up in a few remaining neighborhoods in Raqqa, where US -backed Syrian forces are bearing down on them. Reportedly, Paddock answered a call to arms by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The shooter, Omar Mateen, had pledged allegiance to Isis and it claimed the attack.

"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 October 2. He said of renewed calls for greater gun control that "we'll be talking about gun laws as time goes by".

"ISIS is essentially trying to piggyback on the atrocity in Las Vegas", said Colin P. Clarke, an expert at the RAND Corporation.

The claim is likely false and is a result of an "ISIS, desperate for attention".

"More likely, ISIS's supporters will believe what the group says and not what is proven beyond a doubt by the Western media", Clarke added.

  • Jon Douglas