Oz Blog News Commentary

Las Vegas, Conspiracies and ISIS

October 7, 2017 - 02:38 -- Admin

Social networks abhor vacuums.  They fill them with conspiracies.

The Las Vegas terrorist attack is a good example of this.  Why would a mild mannered accountant suddenly become a terrorist?  What was the motive?  So far, there is no evidence to explain why.  

Aftermath of Las Vegas Attack

The inevitable result?  Conspiracies.  Truckloads of them.  

In the midst of this rampant speculation, one explanation stands out.  ISIS. 

Surprisingly, ISIS immediately claimed the attack and the attacker despite the strong chance it would be immediately disproved upon investigation.  They then reiterated the claim in Naba, its newsletter. 


"A soldier of the caliphate attacked a gathering of 22,000 Americans at a concert in the city of Las Vegas, resulting in nearly 60 killed and 600 injured.  Brother Abu Abdul Bar stationed himself in a room on the 32nd floor of a hotel overlooking the concert and opened fire continuously on the crowds using 23 firearms and more than 2,000 bullets and died, may God accept him, after running out of ammunition."  In their account, Paddock converted to Islam 6 months ago and this attack was his oath of fealty to the Caliphate. 

Is this a valid explanation for the attack?  It looks that way.

False, easily disproved claims would be very risky to ISIS.  ISIS, like all groups who rely on social networking, are very careful with their reputation.  It is very difficult to build trust online and once it is lost, the result is catastrophic.  History proves this to be true:  Rukmini Callimachi (the correspondent from the NYTimes that covers ISIS) demonstrated that ~ 95% claims made by ISIS have been verified to be truthful. 

It's also important to note that Paddock's method of conversion and activation is very similar to the new mechanism that ISIS pioneered that I wrote about last year.   


John Robb

PS: This method of activation and the fact he set up video cameras suggests that Paddock might have live streamed his attack, wherein he pledged fealty to ISIS.