In the hours after Sunday's shooting in Las Vegas, ISIS claimed that the perpetrator, Stephen Paddock, was a "soldier of the Islamic State" and a recent convert to Islam. The FBI, however, repeatedly insisted that there was no link to any sort of international terrorism group, and the search for Paddock's motive was ongoing.
Now, ISIS is continuing to insist that Paddock was indeed a member, and published additional information about him in their newsletter, Naba.
1. After ISIS claimed Vegas, I was waiting for them to release Naba, their weekly newsletter, to see if anything new emerged. Naba is out: pic.twitter.com/yX8AN3OdSX— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) October 5, 2017
In Naba, ISIS claims that Paddock converted to Islam six months ago and used the Islamic name Abu Abdul Barr al-Amriki. The newsletter boasts that "brother Abu Abdul Barr" fired on concertgoers using dozens of weapons and then died after exhausting his ammo supply. Under the "results of the operation" section, ISIS cited "panic and confusion in America."
2. Under a picture of the Mandalay Bay drenched in blood they rehash the attack. New info: They are now claiming shooter converted 6 mos ago pic.twitter.com/2t53MSBNHq— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) October 5, 2017
Again, like in the other claims, ISIS does not provide any proof that Paddock was a Muslim or was connected to ISIS.
Instead, ISIS members pointed out that other times they claimed attacks they actually committed, they were not immediately believed. They also complained that the 911 call by Pluse Nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, where he praised the Islamic State, was "hided" from the public.
5. ISIS members meanwhile are pointing out that after ISIS downed Metrojet over Sinai, no one believed them: pic.twitter.com/8oF4skW8VK— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) October 5, 2017
NYT's ISIS correspondent Rukmini Callimachi wrote on Twitter ISIS rarely claims attacks that they did not commit, and, conversely, has a habit of not claiming attacks that were clearly carried out by someone affiliated with the group.
10. My list is not complete but of the more than 50 cases I have annotated, I could only find 3 false claims.— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) October 5, 2017
12. The thing to understand is ISIS considers an attack to be their handiwork if the attacker is sent by them or if he is inspired by them.— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) October 5, 2017
Callimachi said that she "didn't buy" the argument that ISIS is attempting to deflect from battlefield losses as they did not claim to be behind other "successful" attacks.
15. Remember the Thalys train shouting? They never claimed it. Attacker shared a hotel room with Abdlehamid Abaaoud, leader of Paris attack pic.twitter.com/1E536rRI2X— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) October 5, 2017
17. Do you remember the devastating attack on the Istanbul airport last year? Investigation determined it was ISIS. Again they did not claim pic.twitter.com/UuRWpN9NlI— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) October 5, 2017
18. And 1 day before Vegas on Saturday, a guy who'd placed ISIS flag on his car's dashboard used it to ram police. Did ISIS claim it? Nope pic.twitter.com/HXGVkRovxK— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) October 5, 2017
19 Does this mean ISIS had a role in Vegas? There is as yet 0 evidence of that. My point: This group has been more right than its been wrong— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) October 5, 2017
It's an interesting thread, and it's very curious as to why ISIS is still continuing to claim Paddock as one of their "soldiers" despite all evidence to the contrary. Granted, it's been four days, and there's still no motive. What we do know about Paddock is that he scoped out other concerts, meticulously planned the attack, and almost certainly had help in the execution of the massacre. Questions remain, however, and likely will for some time. This ISIS thing is certainly a head-scratcher.