According to US geopolitical intelligence firm Statfor, the bloodbath that followed the tragic event provides a blueprint for other killers to follow.
Statfor’s vice-president of tactical analysis and terrorism and security expert Scott Stewart writes that a massive crowd was an easy target for Stephen Paddock who fired at them from above.
Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500 others in the deadliest mass shooting in recent US history.
Personal belongings and debris litters the Route 91 Harvest festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay resort and casino in Las Vegas. Picture: Marcio Jose Sanchez. APSource:AP
Writing for Statfor Worldview, Stewart warns that it isn’t just concertgoers at risk with sporting events, rallies and even everyday big crowds also being a potential target for a similar attack in future.
He also explains why he believes this wasn’t a one-off with 10 vehicular assaults committed by Jihadis since the Bastille Day attack last year.
“Success, and the heavy media coverage that accompanies it, clearly breeds imitation,” Stewart, a former special agent with the US State Department writes.
“Because of this, we can expect to see more attempts to shoot at crowds from elevated positions.
“The tactic does not pose a threat just to music festivals like the one in Las Vegas, but rather to any large crowd, whether gathered for parades, sporting events, rallies, protests or celebrations — or even at a tourist site.”
US-based Statfor successfully predicted Europe’s inability to cope with the financial crisis and the US-jihadi war.
A Las Vegas police officer stands by a blocked off area near the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas, two days after the October 1 shooting which left at least 58 people dead. Picture: John Locher/APSource:AP
Police have no clear motive what caused Paddock, a 64-year-old accountant and high stakes gambler, to carry out the shooting from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort.
Authorities have revealed Paddock planned his attack meticulously, requesting an upper-floor room overlooking the festival, where he had stockpiled 23 guns, a dozen of them modified to fire continuously like an automatic weapon.
Police are also looking at whether he was planning massacres at other sites after booking rooms overlooking the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago in August and the Life Is Beautiful show near the Vegas Strip in late September.
Stewart goes on to write it was no surprise Paddock managed to kill so many people.
Madisen Silva, right, and Samantha Werner at a makeshift memorial for victims of the mass shooting. Picture: John Locher/APSource:AP
“Given his elevated position, unobstructed view of the crowd and large arsenal, it is not surprising that the attacker was able to inflict such mayhem, whatever his motive for doing so might have been,” he writes.
“Moreover, the bloodbath that followed provided a blueprint for other killers to follow, providing many important lessons for security professionals and ordinary citizens alike to heed.”
While acknowledging people can’t live their lives in fear, Stewart also points out security operations at such large events may need a rethink.
However, even if the Mandalay hotel reviewed Paddock it would not have picked up anything abnormal.
He also points out the millionaire does not fit the profile most people picture when thinking about a terrorist or mass murderer.
Stewart said paranoia was counter-productive and warned people needed to be prepared at all times and to act, not freeze when something did happen.
People should get out of the kill zone and knowing basic first aid could literally mean the difference between life and death.
Officers say the hotel room of Vegas gunman was ‘like a gun store’ 0:37
Officers who stormed the Mandalay Bay hotel room of Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock, say it was ‘like a gun store’. Courtesy: 60 Minutes
- October 9th 2017
- 16 hours ago
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