A Republican member of Congress claimed Thursday that he has evidence ISIS may have had a role in the Las Vegas shooting.
US Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania told Fox News host Tucker Carlson: ‘I smell a rat like a lot of Americans do.’
‘Recently, I have been made aware of what I believe to be credible evidence, credible information regarding potential terrorist infiltration through the southern border regarding this incident,’ Perry told Carlson.
‘Terrorists?’ Carlson asked in response.
‘Twice before the attack, ISIS warned the United States that they would attack Las Vegas in June and August, and after the attack claimed responsibility four times,’ Perry said.
‘Meanwhile, the local law enforcement investigative services are telling us there is no terrorist connection, lone gunman, again, something is not adding up.’
Perry, who represents Pennsylvania’s 4th District encompassing the area south of the state capital of Harrisburg, did not provide any ‘credible information’ to support his claim.
Catherine Lombardo, a lawyer representing the victims of the Las Vegas attack, appeared on Carlson’s show. She refuted the congressman’s suggestion.
‘We’ve seen no evidence of a terrorist attack,’ she said.
‘I would ask, with all due respect Congressman, unless you have specific evidence to back that up, it seems a bit irresponsible to make that allegation. If you do have any evidence of that, I’m asking you right now.’
Perry replied: ‘I’m just telling you, I have received what I feel to be…credible evidence of a possible terrorist nexus.
‘We’re going to have to wait until that situation develops.’
While Perry is correct that ISIS did, in fact, claim responsibility for the Las Vegas massacre, the FBI has stated that there is ‘no connection’ between international terrorism and the gunman who killed 59 people and injured 527 at an outdoor concert on October 1.
Stephen Paddock, who was killed by law enforcement officials, is responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
Authorities believe he acted alone, though there is still no word as to what the suspected motive was.
Earlier this week, police in Nevada said that more charges could be filed against others in connection with the shooting.
Federal court documents made public Friday showed that as of October 6, the FBI considered Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, ‘the most likely person who aided or abetted Stephen Paddock’.
Danley, who was in the Philippines during the shooting, was questioned by the FBI after returning to the US Lombardo and Aaron Rouse, FBI agent in charge in Las Vegas, said in October that Danley was not a suspect.
Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert, told Business Insider last October that organizations like ISIS like to claim responsibility for violent acts that it had nothing to do with.
On June 3 of last year, 36 people were killed in a deadly attack on a casino in Manila.
Though ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said his government had no evidence that the Islamist group was involved.
‘There is a long history of terrorists trying to elbow themselves into the limelight and milk some horrible tragedy to claim some credit for themselves,’ said Hoffman, who holds the title of Georgetown University’s director of security studies.
‘For them, it’s a quote-unquote “freebie,” in the sense that they get attention, and people talk about whether it’s them. For terrorist groups, being in the news is one of the validations that they have an impact,’ he said.
The far-right has peddled conspiracy theories about supposed terrorism by Muslims as being responsible for the Vegas shooting.
Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist, said on his show in November: ‘Vegas is as phony as a three dollar bill or as Obama’s birth certificate.’
In comments reported by Newsweek, Jones said the FBI was covering up a Saudi connection to the shooting.
‘They’ve been ordered not talk about it because it’s all part of this deal that [President Donald] Trump’s got with the Saudis,’ Jones said.
‘We’ll see if that’s really the case, but that was an Islamic terror attack from all the evidence we have.’
Jones has also suggested that OJ Simpson played a role in the Vegas shooting, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a government-orchestrated hoax, and that the September 11, 2001 attacks were ‘an inside job.’