The possibility that ISIS has ties to Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock may be greater than many think. A New York Times reporter who covers the terrorist group says she isn’t discounting claims by ISIS that it helped orchestrate the tragedy.
Journalist Rukmini Callimachi wrote in a series of Tweets Thursday that ISIS “has rarely claimed attacks that were not by either their members or sympathizers.”
“I don’t take ISIS’ claim at face value. And so far, 0 evidence tying this attack to ISIS has emerged,” she wrote. “But here’s why I disagree with those rejecting it out of hand. I’ve been covering ISIS since 2014 and since then I have kept a timeline. Everytime ISIS claimed an attack in West, I jotted it down. Months later, I’ve gone back over list & annotated what investigation found.
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“My list is not complete but of the more than 50 cases I have annotated, I could only find 3 false claims. Yes, the group frequently exaggerates death tolls & yes, they inflate & distort details, but the crux of the claim is typically correct.”
ISIS, she wrote, “considers an attack to be their handiwork if the attacker is sent by them or if he is inspired by them.”
“The reason I don’t buy argument that they are now opportunistically claiming attacks to deflect from battlefield losses is as follows. Beyond the attacks they’ve claimed, there are many more they could have claimed but didn’t. These are attacks where we know it was them. Remember the Thalys train shouting? They never claimed it. Attacker shared a hotel room with Abdlehamid Abaaoud, leader of Paris attack.
“Remember the attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels? Attacker was 1 of ISIS’ jailers who held European hostages. Yet they never claimed. Do you remember the devastating attack on the Istanbul airport last year? Investigation determined it was ISIS. Again they did not claim. And 1 day before Vegas on Saturday, a guy who’d placed ISIS flag on his car’s dashboard used it to ram police. Did ISIS claim it? Nope.
“Does this mean ISIS had a role in Vegas? There is as yet 0 evidence of that. My point: This group has been more right than it’s been wrong.”
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