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Tipsheet

ISIS Triples Down Claiming Las Vegas Shooting

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.

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Now, ISIS is continuing to insist that Paddock was indeed a member, and published additional information about him in their newsletter, Naba. 

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." 

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.  

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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. 

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. 

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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. 

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