Isil claims Las Vegas massacre and shooter Stephen Paddock converted to Islam

The Islamic State has claimed the Las Vegas concert shooting which left more than 50 people dead and hundreds injured, however US officials have said no there is no known link to international terrorism.

Through Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s official Amaq news channel, the group said the suspected gunman, Stephen Paddock, 64, converted to Islam a few months ago.

They said the attack, the deadliest mass shooting in US history, was carried out by a “soldier” of the caliphate and was done “in response to calls to target coalition countries.”

In another statement released hours later, Isil referred to Paddock by the nom de guerre Abu Abd al-Barr al-Amriki and said he had answered a call to arms by its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 

In an audio message released on Thursday Baghdadi exhorted his followers to wage attacks against the West and “besiege them in every corner”.

Isil often claims attacks by individuals inspired by its message but with no known links to the group.

50 dead in Las Vegas shooting, in pictures

US officials have said they are examining the claim, but are yet to find any evidence linking the shooter, who fired as many as 300 rounds from a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, to any organised terrorist group.

Police said Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada, killed himself after the shooting and that there was reason to believe that he had a history of psychological problems.

“Despite popular opinion, they do not claim everything,” said Shiraz Maher, a lecturer in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. “They have not, for example, said anything about the Edmonton attack at this stage. By contrast, Marseille was claimed very quickly. When ISIS does claim something, there’s usually some degree of actual connection.”

In brief | Worst US mass shootings

Amarnath Amarasingam, a senior research fellow at the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue, told the Telegraph that the way in which Isil claims…

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