Speed Reads

terror attacks?

ISIS claimed responsibility for the Manila attack. Police disagree.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for Friday's deadly casino attack in the Philippines, announcing the gunman who set fires in the Manila establishment before killing himself was an ISIS fighter.

Manila police don't agree. "They can always claim whatever they want to claim," said Police Chief Oscar Albayalde. "They have this reputation of claiming all atrocities all over the world to perpetuate themselves to gain global notoriety. There is no truth that the incident is a terror act."

There are ISIS-linked fighters in the Philippines, but they're active on different islands, and to be "linked" to ISIS may mean anything from shared extremist views to real strategic and financial connections. In 2015, ISIS likewise falsely claimed responsibility for a shooting in Texas over which the organization had no control.

ISIS does, however, have one huge voice amplifying its claim: President Trump, who characterized the attack as terrorism despite police insistence to the contrary.