“The Las Vegas attack was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried it out in response to calls to target states of the coalition,” the group’s Amaq news agency said. “The Las Vegas attacker converted to Islam a few months ago.”
The attack was pre-planned. Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay Hotel on September 28th and stayed there for three days setting up two shooting platforms and preparing 10 rifles for use in the massacre. The fact that one was fully-automatic would indicate either serious financial resources, an illegal arms source, or the expertise needed to convert a firearm from semi-auto to full-auto.
A fully automatic M-16 sells for as much as $20,000 and takes a special stamp from the ATF in order to purchase and possess. Other automatic weapons sell for even more. The type of rifle or rifles used in the attack has not been identified.
There are three mosques in Mesquite, Nevada where the shooter resided making it possible for him to attend religious services, but there has been no independent confirmation of Paddock’s alleged conversion to Islam. The religion of his Asian female companion, Marilou Danley, has not been made public.
FBI officials said Monday that they “have determined no connection to any international terrorist groups” in response to ISIS’ claims.