Las Vegas Strip Shooting: Is It a Terrorist Attack? Is ISIS Involved?

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Las Vegas police stand guard along the streets outside the Route 91 Harvest Country music festival groundss of the Route 91 Harvest on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Las Vegas’ strip was in chaos early on the morning of October 2 after reports of an active shooter or even multiple gunman spraying bullets at a country music crowd. This has many people wondering: Is it a terrorist attack? Is ISIS involved?

The answer to that question early on October 2 is that it was too early to say. Police scanner traffic described a chaotic scene that was still active as of 2:46 a.m. on the east coast. The suspect or suspects had not yet been publicly named by police, nor had police released much information because they were too busy still trying to figure it all out and respond.

Heightening concerns: In May, an ISIS propaganda video that makes threats against Las Vegas landmarks caused authorities enough concern that they sent out warning notices to hotels on the famous Strip. “In the video that calls for lone wolf attacks, several Strip properties were prominently displayed,” reports Las Vegas Now. You can read more about that report here.

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Police did say on the scanner that one suspect was “down” in an upper-level floor at the Mandalay Bay hotel, raising the possibility that eyewitness reports of more than one shooter may have been accurate. This person had not yet been identified, though. At least two were dead and 24 injured, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Raising concerns about terrorism: The fact that there were two terrorist attacks earlier in the day on October 2 – one in France, and the other in Canada – not to mention the fact that Las Vegas is a high-value target for ISIS, and terrorists have staged attacks at concerts before, most notably the Ariana Grande concert in England.

Earlier in the day on October 1, it was announced that a 30-year-old man is being held on several charges after police said he attacked a police officer Saturday night in downtown Edmonton before running over several pedestrians while fleeing from officers in a U-Haul truck. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, an Edmonton resident of Somali origin, has been identified as the suspect in the likely terror attacks, the CBC reports. He is in police custody, but authorities have declined to confirm his identity.

There was also a terrorist attack in Marseilles, France, on October 2.

The reports centered around a country concert near or at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas strip. Las Vegas police confirmed on Twitter, “We’re investigating reports of an active shooter near/around Mandalay Bay Casino. Asking everyone to please avoid the area. #LVMPDnews.” Be aware that some of the videos and photos later in this story from the scene are disturbing and graphic.

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GettyThe scene at Route 90 Harvest.

A few minutes later, police gave information on Twitter about a media staging area, but they have released no additional information as the situation grew increasingly chaotic on the Las Vegas strip. Scanner traffic was extremely grim, as the incident continued to expand, and police were dispatching “strike teams” to numerous other Strip hotels, for other unconfirmed shooting reports, including that medics were being shot at.

Some of those shooting reports did not pan out (“negative, shots fired at Bellagio,” police said in one such report on the scanner); police also said on the scanner that one suspect was down in a hotel room at Mandalay Bay, indicating it was possible there was more than one shooter, but, in the chaos, this was not yet clear.

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GettyThe scene in Las Vegas.

It was not yet clear how many people were injured or whether anyone was deceased, either. However, police were referring to “casualty collection points” in live scanner traffic, and they were also discussing sending what they were calling “strike teams” into other hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.

Some videos of the scene were being posted to social media as news broke. There were not very many details confirmed about the incident early on October 2 as it was just breaking, but eyewitnesses described hearing multiple, rapid-fire gunshots, and some even said they believed there was more than one gunman based on the number of shots fired.

GettyLas Vegas police stand guard along the streets outside the the Route 91 Harvest country music festival grounds after a active shooter was reported on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Some reported gunmen or a gunman firing from an elevated position as mass pandemonium broke out in many places on the Las Vegas strip.

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GettyA person lies on the ground covered with blood at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Read more about the past ISIS threats here:

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