While authorities have identified the shooter in the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, they are still investigating on the motive behind the horrific crime. An article just released by The Washington Times says, however, that back in May, ISIS actually sent out a propaganda video threatening Las Vegas.
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In fact, several media outfits came out with such headlines as the May 26 Daily Mail Online news that says: “Las Vegas cops on alert after ISIS terror threat to Strip.”
Fox News had its own headline on May 25 that reads: “Las Vegas authorities on alert over ISIS propaganda video.”
Las Vegas Now also published one at about the same time as Fox News. The headline screams: “New ISIS video appears to threaten Las Vegas.”
Metro Police told local news outlets back in May, however, that they were not convinced that the threat was credible. Other law enforcement official were more cautious and said they were taking the threat seriously because they believe the threat was credible.
The 44-minute video called for attacks against U.S. cities similar to what happened in Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016. The video did not actually name Las Vegas as target but it has images of the Strip, including Caesar’s Palace, the Bellagio Hotel and other famous South Las Vegas Boulevard icons.
The video also included statements from radical Islamic terrorists urging Muslims residing in the West to carry out attacks on civilians.
Also in May, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Christopher Darcy, who heads up the Southern Nevada Counter-Terrorism Center, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “I think anytime somebody goes on the Internet and makes a threat, that they’re going to conduct a lone-wolf or any type of attack, it’s our responsibility to view it as a credible threat. It would be irresponsible not to take any threat as credible, especially when made by a group such as ISIS, who has in fact carried out attacks in the past.”
An analysis by the Middle East Research Institute says that in the same video as images of The Strip, as well as New York Time’s Square and Washington, D.C., flash across the screen, ISIS spokesman Abu Al-Hassan Al-Muhajir is heard urging long wolf attacks in America, Russia and Europe.
The ISIS spokesperson also made other disturbing statements in the video, including, “Know that our war with our enemy is an all out war and the interests of the enemy can be easily targeted,” as one subtitle read.
Al-Hassan also added: “Make sure they are preoccupied with their own safety, thus diverting their attention away from your Caliphate.”
Could this Las Vegas massacre be linked to ISIS? It may be too early to conclude for now, but maybe the “warnings” issued in May should provide some clues. It would also be interesting to find out what the authorities did to respond to the said warnings.