Perhaps the most implausible conspiracy theory about the Las Vegas shooting, in which Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and wounded hundreds more, claims that Antifa, ISIS and the “deep state” all worked together to bring about the tragic massacre.
Conspiracy theories flew thick and fast in the wake of the devastating mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival, likely due to the lack of information readily available about Paddock and his motivations. In the absence of official information, online conspiracy theorists and Internet-famous personalities filled the void with ideas about everything from Illuminati “blood sacrifice” rituals to beloved Ellen DeGeneres being behind the attack.
OK, so maybe the Ellen DeGeneres conspiracy theory is the most implausible.
But this one, stemming in large part from Infowars creator Alex Jones, comes close. This Las Vegas shooting conspiracy theory claims that, despite the inability of the country’s Democrats and Republicans to work together on the most basic of issues, three separate groups of people — Antifa, ISIS and the “deep state” — managed to conspire together to bring about the horrific mass shooting.
From the beginning, Jones asserted that the FBI “found Antifa information in the room and photos of the women in the Middle East…There was Antifa crap everywhere,” before changing the story, or expanding it to include other players. He invited Internet personality and right-winger Laura Loomer onto his show to discuss the Las Vegas shooting and quickly adopted some of her claims.
Loomer discussed how she believes Paddock and ISIS were linked, telling Jones “I think that this guy is a hardcore leftist with Antifa connections who became radicalized through ISIS.” She said, “You see a lot of these leftists who are embracing Islam.”
Loomer, in case you’re unfamiliar, is a follower of James O’Keefe, a conservative political activist with unusual methods. Loomer and Jack Posobiec interrupted a performance of Julius Caesar in New York, which the YouTuber who posted the disruption dubbed “The Trump Assassination Play.” “You are inciting terrorists!” was one of the chosen verbal attacks lobbed by Posobiec during the interruption.
If you’re keeping score, that’s now two players involved in this conspiracy theory thanks to Jones’ conversation with the self-proclaimed investigative reporter. But Jones didn’t stop there. On another episode of his show, he then proceeded to suggest the attack was all about gun control. The “deep state,” he claimed, “set up” the whole thing to push an agenda.
This despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. “To date, zero evidence of an ISIS link has emerged,” says Rukmini Callimachi, a terrorism expert who covers ISIS for The New York Times. To be more specific, the reporter added “I am talking both to sources in law enforcement and to US officials in Iraq who are tracking the terror group closely. They have found nothing suggesting that Paddock either interacted with members of ISIS, or was inspired by them—and certainly no evidence that he converted.”
Insane, most definitely. But we’re still giving the top crazy award to the creator of the Ellen DeGeneres conspiracy theory.