The Islamic State terror group has released a new infographic insisting that the Stephen Paddock, the man responsible for Sunday night's massacre in Las Vegas, had converted to Islam six months ago.
The terror group has previously claimed through its Amaq news agency that Paddock was a "soldier of the Islamic State who carried out the attack in response to calls for targeting coalition countries." In a statement issued on Monday, the group referred to the gunman as "Abu Abdul Barr al-Amriki" — the American — and claimed that he converted to Islam recently.
In the 100th issue of its 16-page weekly newsletter al-Naba, ISIS insisted that Paddock had converted six months ago, although no evidence was provided to back up the claim.
"A soldier from the soldiers of the Caliphate targeted a large gathering of 22,000 Americans at a concert in the city of Las Vegas, inflicting nearly 600 killed and wounded. The executor of the operation, Abu Abdul Barr al-Amriki, 64 years old, converted to Islam six months ago," the group stated in the newsletter, according to Daily Mail.
"The brother Abu Abdul Barr stationed himself for the invasion on the 32nd floor of a hotel overlooking a concert, and opened fire continuously on the crowds using 23 guns and more than 2,000 rounds, and died, may Allah accept him, after exhausting his ammunition," it continued.
Leaked crime scene photos and officials have indicated that Paddock had much more ammo in his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay and Casino.
According to senior law enforcement officials, the 64-year-old gunman had also researched other possible attack locations, including the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago in August. It was also revealed that he had approached an ammunition dealer wanting to buy a large quantity of tracer rounds at a gun show in Phoenix last month. The officials noted that Paddock was not able to make the purchase because the dealer did not have the quantity that the gunman wanted.
The FBI has explicitly denied that the mass shooting that killed 58 people and wounded 527 was in any way linked to the terror group.
Investigators have not established a motive, but they said they have been looking at "everything" including the shooter's personal life, finances or any political affiliations. They stated that there is no evidence at this point to indicate terrorism, but noted that the investigation is still ongoing.
It has been suggested that Paddock may have been in physical or mental anguish, but FBI officials have said they do not believe that his mental health had deteriorated to a point that would have triggered him to commit the mass shooting. However, state and federal law enforcement officials confirmed that he had been prescribed by the anti-anxiety medication Valium.