- The Washington Times - Monday, October 2, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Authorities say they still don’t know the motives behind a massacre in Las Vegas that left dozens of Mandalay Bay-area country concert-goers killed and another 500-plus injured. They’ve released the name of the shooter, Stephen Paddock, who’s now dead.

But the motive? Still searching.

Still: Back in May, ISIS actually sent out a propaganda video threatening Las Vegas.

“Las Vegas cops on alert after ISIS terror threat to Strip,” blasted one Daily Mail Online headline, from May 26.

This, from Fox News on May 25: “Las Vegas authorities on alert over new ISIS propaganda video.”

And there was this, from Las Vegas Now, at the same time: “New ISIS video appears to threaten Las Vegas.”

Metro Police told the local news outlet back in May that they didn’t believe the threat was credible. Other law enforcement officials, however, said it was credible and they were, at the time, taking the threat seriously.

The video, spanning 44 minutes, specifically called for attacks against U.S. cities akin to the one against the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. That attack, in June of 2016, was committed by Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard who had sworn allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Mateen was able to shoot and kill 49 and injure dozens more before he was shot dead by cops.

The video released by ISIS in May doesn’t name Las Vegas — but it does show images of the Strip, including Caesar’s Palace, the Bellagio Hotel and other famous South Las Vegas Boulevard icons.

In May, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Christopher Darcy, who heads up the Southern Nevada Counter-Terrorism Center, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “I think anytime somebody goes on the Internet and makes a threat, that they’re going to conduct a lone-wolf or any type of attack, it’s our responsibility to view it as a credible threat. It would be irresponsible not to take any threat as credible, especially when made by a group such as ISIS, who has in fact carried out attacks in the past.”

The video included statements from radical Islamic terrorists calling on Muslims living in the West to carry out attacks on civilians.

From the Daily Mail: “As images of The Strip, as well as New York Time’s Square and Washington, D.C., flash across the screen, ISIS spokesman Abu Al-Hassan Al-Muhajir is heard urging long wolf attacks in America, Russia and Europe, according to an analysis of the video by the Middle East Research Institute.”

And among some of the remarks made by these ISIS scum?

“Know that our war with our enemy is an all out war and the interests of the enemy can be easily targeted,” one subtitle read.

And Al-Hassan says: “Make sure they are preoccupied with their own safety, thus diverting their attention away from your Caliphate.”

So was this Las Vegas massacre tied to ISIS? Tied to radical Islam at all? It’s too soon to tell. America’s intel says no. U.S. authorities say there is no tie to ISIS. At the same time, they’ve not yet released a motive. Either way, evil wins.

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