Speed Reads

Las Vegas shooting

Experts: ISIS claiming credit for unrelated attacks in an attempt to stay relevant

U.S. law enforcement officials say there is absolutely no evidence that the Islamic State is linked in any way to the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night, which left at least 59 people dead and injured more than 500, and experts believe they falsely claimed responsibility not to scare Americans, but to boost morale within the terrorist organization's dwindling ranks.

ISIS even went so far as saying the shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, "converted to Islam months ago," but FBI investigator Aaron Rouse told reporters Monday that law enforcement has found "no connection with an international terrorist group" and Paddock.

Herbie Tinsley, a researcher at the University of Maryland's National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), told BuzzFeed News that ISIS's brand is "faltering," and as the group continues to lose the little bit of territory it has left in Syria and Iraq, it will do whatever necessary to save face. "Jihadists do not primarily message to Westerners," Tinsley said. "They're more often and more specifically for those who are already in their camp or sympathetic." Recently, ISIS has been taking credit for several attacks the group had nothing to do with, including a shooting at a casino in the Philippines — it was later determined the shooter was a disgruntled gambler in major debt, not an ISIS militant.