Officials deny Vegas shooter was linked to terror groups after ISIS claim responsibility and say he ‘converted to Islam months ago’

Monday, October 2, 2017
By Paul Martin

Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, killed 50 people and injured more than 400
ISIS claimed he had converted and that he was a ‘Soldier of Islamic state’
US officials say there is no evidence that Paddock was linked to ISIS

2 October 2017

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the mass shooting in Las Vegas where 50 people were killed and more than 406 wounded, and said the attacker had converted to Islam a few months ago.

Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, a resident of nearby Mesquite, Nevada, opened fire on a country music festival taking place at Las Vegas Village from a room across the street in the Mandalay Bay Hotel just after 10pm on Sunday evening.

The claim was swiftly shot down by US officials, said there is no evidence he was linked to ISIS, and also contradicts statements by Paddock’s family who say he had no religious or political affiliations.

‘The Las Vegas attack was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried it out in response to calls to target states of the coalition,’ the group’s news agency Amaq said in reference to the U.S.-led coalition fighting the group in the Middle East.

‘The Las Vegas attacker converted to Islam a few months ago,’ Amaq added.

Two senior U.S. officials said shortly after ISIS’s statement that there was no evidence that the shooter was tied to any international militant group.

One of the two U.S. officials discounted Islamic State’s claim of responsibility and said there was reason to believe that the shooter had a history of psychological problems.

In addition, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said investigations are still ongoing and police have not yet determined a motive.

Paddock was not believed to be connected to any militant group, Lombardo said.

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