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I’m not trying to engage in conspiracy theory here. But the conundrum of contradictions of Stephen Paddock continues to raise more questions.
The latest news is that Paddock may have booked a room overlooking the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, and looked into a room with a line of sight to Fenway Park in Boston. This is chilling. A number of years ago I stayed with my wife at the Blackstone, in a corner room. It has an unmatched view of the lakefront.
I wrote “may have booked” about Chicago because the hotel can’t confirm that the person who booked the room was Paddock, only that the name matched. It’s not a very common name, however.
And there’s the ISIS angle. This has bothered me from the beginning. ISIS isn’t prone to troll. A Twitter thread by Rukmini Callimachi, a New York Times correspondent covering ISIS, treats the issue very seriously. ISIS doesn’t generally take credit for attacks they aren’t certain are part of their network. And they don’t take credit for every attack that is done in their name. They wasted no time taking credit for Paddock. It’s troubling.
More troubling is that we’re no closer to knowing the motive for the shooter than we were Monday.
What seems certain is that Paddock may not have been working alone, and this wasn’t some random shooting. It was targeted.
Las Vegas shooting: Gunman Stephen Paddock may have scoped out other music festivals, possibly planned car bombing | abc7.com
Paddock booked hotel rooms in Chicago during the Lollapalooza music festival earlier this year, sources tell ABC News. It is not known if Paddock actually traveled to Chicago or what other hotels he booked. ABC News reports that investigators believe Paddock may have also scouted sites in Boston.
The 64-year-old retired accountant went as far as booking two hotel rooms in the Windy City that overlooked the Lollapalooza music festival held in early August. The rooms Paddock secured at the Blackstone Hotel offered a clear view of the outdoor festival, according to the Chicago Tribune. He also looked up another potential target in Beantown, the Boston Center for the Arts, officials said.
Las Vegas police confirmed that photos showing guns strewn across a Mandalay Bay hotel room were real, and that they are launching an internal investigation to find out who leaked the photos. Police also revealed that Paddock had set up two cameras in the hallway outside his hotel room and one inside his room, presumably to watch police as they approached his room. The Las Vegas Review-Journal learned last night that Paddock was prescribed an anti-anxiety drug in June that could lead to aggressive behavior.
Nevada gambling regulators say they’re sorting through documents for clues about him and his girlfriend, Marilou Danley. Those can include suspicious transaction or currency reports, as well as information from a player’s rewards card, which the casinos use to track their gambling and offer perks. Paddock’s brother has described the gunman as a high-stakes video poker player who was routinely comped rooms, meals and drinks at casinos.
1. After ISIS claimed Vegas, I was waiting for them to release Naba, their weekly newsletter, to see if anything new emerged. Naba is out: pic.twitter.com/yX8AN3OdSX
— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) October 5, 2017
— Splinter (@splinter_news) October 6, 2017
The ISIS story won’t go away. It’s not raw conspiracy theory, as a New York Times reporter has her own very real concerns. We know that Paddock wasn’t intending to kill himself as part of the plan. The note he left in the hotel room was not a suicide note. He did shoot at the fuel tanks (without effect since he’d need some incendiary to ignite jet fuel).
It defies imagination that this man planned and executed this on his own, with no help from anyone, without his girlfriend or anyone else knowing.
ISIS is celebrating “The Las Vegas Conquest.”
The fact that law enforcement is playing this close to the vest means that if there’s something to the ISIS angle, they’re being smart about it. They originally reported no connections to international terror, but is that true? Are we ready to label this a terror attack yet?
We need to know who Paddock was working with, and I’m sure that’s the focus of this investigation. The longer we go with minimal fact, the more conspiracy theorists will capitalize on this.
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