“If ISIS Was Behind Las Vegas Shooting, There’s a Terrifying Reason It Won’t Prove It Yet,” by Tom O’Connor, Newsweek, October 9, 2017 (thanks to David):
Authorities continue to doubt that the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) was behind last week’s massacre in Las Vegas, despite the jihadists’ persistent claims the shooter acted on their behalf. According to one leading expert’s analysis, however, the conflicting narratives might be playing straight into ISIS’s hands.
Despite digging deep into Stephen Paddock’s background, investigators have struggled to understand what drove the 64-year-old man, who described himself as a “professional gambler,” to slaughter 58 people and injure hundreds more when he opened fire on crowds attending a country music concert from his 32nd-floor hotel room in Las Vegas. Nothing so far has reportedly led them to believe ISIS’s claim that Paddock converted to Islam and acted as “a soldier” of the group’s self-styled caliphate, leaving observers wondering why the global militant group would risk making such an outlandish, intentionally false allegation.
The answer could lie in a larger plot to exploit the U.S.’s already eroding trust in its leadership.
“If Islamic State did indeed cultivate Paddock, as it has claimed was the case, the group surely has some evidence of its engagements with him. If it does, it may be the case the group is waiting on FBI and other agencies to dismiss its claim of responsibility for the Las Vegas attack before posting contradictory evidence online for the world to see,” terrorism analyst Michael S. Smith II tells Newsweek.
“Islamic State has been very focused on undermining confidence among civilians in the West that their technologically-superior governments are competent managers of our collective security,” he adds….