As investigators continue to connect the dots regarding the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, suspicious foreign connections are emerging with regard to his past.
According to law enforcement officials, the Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, had sent $100,000 to an account in the Philippines — his live-in girlfriend’s home country. This happened only a week before he opened fire on a crowd of concert goers in what was the worst mass shooting in modern US history, according to NBC News.
While investigators confirmed that Marilou Danley, girlfriend of the gunman, was in the Philippines on Sunday when Paddock opened fire, they still haven’t ascertained whether or not the wired money was meant for her, her family, or some other purpose.
The relationship between the two has come under scrutiny in recent days, as investigators look into all of Paddock’s possible connections to explain his recent behavior. One of Danley’s sisters said, “I know that she don’t know anything as well like us. She was sent away. She was sent away so that she will be not there to interfere with what he’s planning,” according to CNN.
Danley, 62, who traveled to Hong Kong on September 25th, is someone officials hope can fill in the blanks as to why the retired accountant committed this heinous massacre — killing 59 people and injuring well over 500.
“We anticipate some information from her shortly,” said Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo. “She is currently a person of interest.”
The shooter’s brother, Eric Paddock, said that he suspected the money was meant to take care of Danley. “One hundred thousand dollars isn’t that huge amount of money. Condemn Steve for gambling. Steve took care of the people he loved. He made me and my family wealthy,” the brother said.
Paddock may have “manipulated her so that she was far away from this and had money,” the brother added. “As he was descending into hell…he wanted to take care of her.” At the same time, investigators found that Paddock had gambled away at least $160,000 over the past several weeks in the casinos.
The question of the shooter’s motive is one that investigators are still scrambling to find clues on, but Lombardo remained “absolutely” confident authorities will find out what motivated him. “This investigation is not ended with the demise of Mr. Paddock,” the sheriff said. “Did this person get radicalized unbeknownst to us? And we want to identify that source.”
One senior US Homeland Security official said there was no evidence that Paddock had links to international or domestic terror groups. This detail comes in contrast to a recent announcement from ISIS, which claimed that Paddock was a “soldier of the Islamic State,” and that he “converted to Islam several months ago.” Other experts concur with the prospect that this statement from the terrorist group was most likely a form of psychological warfare, using an unrelated incident to their advantage.
Las Vegas shooter sent $100,000 to an account in the Philippines. Is there a foreign terror connection here?
“If he had converted, somebody somewhere would know. If it’s true he would have had to have some contact with ISIS [and] it would strike me that this guy would have had some sort of contact, some sort of electronic signals that authorities will dig into over the coming days,” said Shiraz Maher, deputy director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR).
It should be noted that the Philippines is known for having a considerable Muslim population. The nation has had its own problems with violent jihad.
It’s still speculation as to what Paddock’s motives were. However, as more details regarding his foreign connections come to light, the truth about this whole affair will be revealed soon.