The Islamic State, also called ISIS, may or may not have had anything to do with the Las Vegas attack that killed 58 innocent Americans and injured 500 on Oct. 1, but one thing is certain.
The crumbling Islamic caliphate has been offered a propaganda cherry by the FBI.
By claiming credit for Paddock’s grandiose attack at the same time the FBI has been silent on the shooter’s motive, this gives a window of opportunity for an ISIS propaganda coup, according to national-security experts.
In the world of international terror, propaganda success means new recruits and new violence against Western targets – and ISIS appears to be positioning itself for both post Vegas.
For example, just this weekend ISIS used the Vegas attack in a chilling appeal for “lone wolves” to take sniper shots at American motorists traveling down highways and to lay small bombs in rural roadways.
In the seventh part of its English-language “Knights of Lone Jihad” series, ISIS drew from the Las Vegas attack and its carefully planned carnage to suggest new operations for lone wolves, reports Site Intelligence Group, a respected chronicler of what it calls “extremist” activity around the world whether right wing, left wing or Islamic.
It starts out: “May Allah facilitate more attacks like this to our brothers who are preparing to hit in their own lands the nations that fight the Muslims. You can carry many attacks on groups [of] kuffars similar to the one that our brother carries out in Las Vegas: Attacking them with automatic weapons, but not in the hotel room … Attack as a sniper or in a forest where the kuffar concurred, a place where you can easily hide and attack them.”
IS Supporters Draw from Las Vegas Attack to Offer Ideas for Lone Wolves https://t.co/F4OHkJ2Nmd
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) October 15, 2017
ISIS’ latest “Knights” installment gives detailed instructions on how to kill American “kuffars,” which is the Islamic term for “unbelievers.”
ISIS gives the red light for even small attacks that kill as few as one unbeliever, because they can make “several similar attacks” without getting caught, if they go about it the right way, the terror group advises.
“The authorities have intelligence but also with weaknesses and these weaknesses you can take advantage of them. One of these weaknesses is that you can act in a place away from surveillance cameras, even traveling from one city to another to attack anonymously, select places alone but with a concurrence of kuffar people, or abandoned houses and attack them during the night, try to put aside everything that relates you to the attack. Attack as a sniper; Select the place and plan every month before carrying out everything, keep your plan, always follow your routine, as all travel [from] a city to another, can even attack on busy roads, reach the kuffar in the car and shoot them, so that no one else will see the action.”
The Islamic State is clearly impressed with the way Paddock kept his planning for the mass murder completely below law enforcement’s radar, leaving behind no trace of any evidence about his motive on social media or elsewhere.
“So it will be kept safe, investigations carried out [by] kuffar services will not lead them to decipher anything, just as they remain with trying to decipher how the attack was carried out in Las Vegas,” the terrorist organization says in the statement.
ISIS does not call for suicide attacks.
“The difference is that if Allah facilitates you can attack a couple of times in the same way and then look for another form of serial attack, out of the city, on the highways, today is the best option to hit the kuffar before the level of security that may exist around you … avoid mentioning everything in social networks, text message, even calls.”
Targets have been broadened to include Americans traveling in out-of-the way rural places.
“And resume the previous technique of attacking roads where there is no population to the surrounding area. There you can attack with weapons and explosives installed along the roads and cause Ishna Allah [God willing].”
Philip Haney, a retired Homeland Security officer who co-authored the book “See Something Say Nothing,” said the FBI’s pattern of denying upfront that an attack was connected to international terrorism is troubling.
“We keep seeing the same, reflexive pattern every time of the FBI jumping right out there within hours of an attack and telling us what it isn’t, but they don’t tell us what it is, and then we find out later that this was incorrect or at least incomplete, and that these guys are involved and there is a network,” Haney told WND. “We saw it in San Bernardino; Orlando; Garland, Texas; and now with Las Vegas.”
Haney said the Islamic State’s propaganda tactics are to create chaos and violence, or to exploit violence carried out by others.
“That’s why this is important, because when people are following this ideology, they don’t really care if ISIS is right or not. They’re not going to do a fact check. They’re just going to take it at face value that their whole group is involved in Las Vegas,” Haney said.
“So [in] all this parsing of words we do, we are missing the bigger picture. It’s an effective use of propaganda to encourage the Islamic community around the world to join jihad. In that respect, they’re getting traction. They’re getting a return for their efforts,” he added. “That’s why it’s dangerous for the FBI to jump out there and make these assertions, because they’re doing us a disservice, and they lead the public to draw false conclusions. We keep getting these announcements from our highest and most prestigious agencies in law enforcement that there is nothing to see here, move along. But we have to recognize that they will use chaos and violence to their advantage, whether it’s done by themselves or by somebody else.”
And they do plenty of it themselves.
According to TheReligionOfPeace.com, 31,934 jihad attacks have occurred since Sept. 11, 2001.
“And if you do the math, that’s 5.4 attacks a day since 9/11. And that’s just the attacks we know of,” Haney said.
“That’s all the more reason why law enforcement should be careful about the announcements they make because we should be in a state of awareness, not influenced or persuaded into believing that because this attack may not be linked to a foreign terrorist organization it’s somehow less worrisome. It might be linked to a domestic terror organization. That’s what happened in San Bernardino and Orlando. Now we find out the FBI has not been forthcoming with information on multiple attacks since 9/11. The pattern is set, so at this point you have to wonder: Are they incompetent, or is it deliberate? If it is deliberate, what is the American public gaining from that policy?”
Haney said, “This is starting to feel a lot like 1963,” when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
“Americans are very forgiving and very patient, but we get angry when we find out we were not told the truth,” he said. “We feel betrayed, and it’s not necessary. There is nothing gained by it, other than loss of trust.”