Five days after the largest shooting attack in American history, U.S. leaders are no closer to identifying the motive of the perpetrator of this tragedy. Yet, our government assures us this is not connected to “international terrorism.”
With regards to the current situation as it stands right now, the facts as we know them are this;
- Last spring the Islamic State released a video targeting Las Vegas using a red smear effect to show “blood” over the city.
- In September, the Islamic State issued another threat against Las Vegas.
- Last week the Islamic state published a message in one of their media outlets admonishing Muslims to avoid large gatherings of non-Muslims, specifically including large events where thousands of people gather.
- Sunday night, October 1st in Las Vegas, Stephen Paddock fired on a crowd of approximately 22,000 people at a country music concert.
- On Monday October 2nd, the Islamic State claimed responsibly for this attack. Later that day they issued a second message confirming the Las Vegas attack was conducted by a “soldier of the caliphate” and “martyr.” Several hours later early Tuesday morning EST the Islamic state issued a third message reconfirming the Las Vegas attack was their operation.
- On Thursday October 5th, the Islamic State released a new video showing the red smear “blood” over the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
- There is no record of the Islamic state ever claiming responsibility of an operation that did not turn out to be a jihadi attack (Note: June attack in Philippines was claimed by the Islamic State. While government officials there call the event a “robbery,” credible analysis of the incident makes a strong case that was an IS operation). See the article this week in the Atlantic making the same case.
- The sheriff leading the investigation effort publicly stated it is his opinion Paddock was not operating alone.
- It has been confirmed that Paddock wired $100,000 to the Philippines before this operation.
- Paddock filmed himself during the attack.
- Paddock conducted pre-operational reconnaissance on the Las Vegas target (Mandalay) but other similar targets in other cities as well.
- Biographical information on Paddock indicates no prior military or law enforcement experience.
- Beside numerous weapons, explosives were found in Paddock’s vehicle and in one of his residences.
Here is what we can learn from these facts:
Paddock’s conduct and behavior suggest he is capable in pre-mission planning, conducting reconnaissance, logistical planning, weapons handling, explosives handling, and executing a mission.
Without law enforcement and/or military training, where was Paddock trained?
Who trained Paddock?
In light of these facts the most viable assessment at this point continues to be that the Las Vegas attack was a Jihadi operation.
For those who disagree, the question is “What is the alternative assessment at this point?”
The media’s go-to assessment immediately following the event that Paddock “snapped” from some sort of psychological “event” was shattered when we learned about his months of preparation and pre-mission reconnaissance.
In the end, we are left with the deadliest shooting attack in US history perpetrated by a man about whom little is known, but yet someone who was trained and prepared for this mission.
While UTT understands there are several other possibilities for a motive in this attack, none of them are reasonable in light of the current facts.