Islamic State claimed responsibility for a deadly massacre in Las Vegas that took the lives of 58 people and wounded at least 515 others on Oct. 1.
But U.S. investigators are skeptical that ISIS had any connection to the mass shooting, which was carried out by American Stephen Paddock, 64, at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. ISIS said through its Amaq news agency that Paddock had converted to Islam a few months ago, Reuters reported.
"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 agency said in reference to the U.S.-led coalition fighting the ISIS in the Middle East.
In a later statement from Islamic State, the militant group referred to the Las Vegas attacker by a nom de guerre of "Abu Abd al-Bar al-Ameriki."
ISIS has released similarly worded statements when referring to terror attacks that were inspired, rather than specifically directed, by the group.
An official with the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence told The Independent said the message was definitely from ISIS, but it's not clear if the group was doing it as psychological warfare against the U.S.
“If he had converted, somebody somewhere would know," said Shiraz Maher. "If it’s true he would have had to have some contact with Isis [and] it would strike me that this guy would have had some sort of contact, some sort of electronic signals that authorities will dig into over the coming days.”
Two senior U.S. government officials told Reuters that Paddock's name was not on any database of suspected terrorists. Paddock's brother, Eric Paddock, told news media Monday that Stephen had no political or religious affiliation.