BY ALLEN WEST
Since awakening this morning, I’ve been paying attention and cross-referencing information on the Las Vegas mass shooting. The key aspect of being a military commander, a leader, is to assess, evaluate, seek out indicators and warnings, always looking for trends. This is a horrific event, but it lends itself to many questions…and not the type the gun control advocates rush to.
My first question is, why does a 64-year-old white male shoot up a country music festival? There can be no doubt that this was a planned, deliberate attack. A deranged person often exhibits more impulsive behavior, not specific deliberate actions such as this.
It could have been easy to just drive to the Las Vegas strip and open fire on innocent people walking the streets. This is more reflective of someone who had developed a plan of attack and had a targeted audience and venue. The assailant checked into the Mandalay Bay hotel and took a room providing a vantage point over a public venue. He checked into this room on last Thursday.
Did he bring in his assortment of weapons at that moment, or did he do so over the next three to four days as he prepared his sniper site? He sure did prepare, with cameras and arranging his cornucopia of rifles and ammunition. It would be interesting to know when the attacker made his reservations for the room on the 32nd floor in the Mandalay? And had he been there previously to reconnoiter a potential location?
If you haven’t already, you might want to take a look at Allen West’s Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom, and then get your copy.
I’d even like to know how frequently this attacker visited Las Vegas. One could almost understand if his target was a specific casino, perhaps where he’d lost money or felt cheated. No, this was a deliberate engagement.
What I find rather disturbing is a line of consistencies from the Islamic State. Back in May of this year, ISIS released a video specifically calling for an attack on Las Vegas. And we’ve shared with y’all that ISIS has claimed responsibility for this mass attack. This means the two biggest mass murder incidents in America have been claimed by ISIS — the Orlando Pulse nightclub 14 months ago, and now Las Vegas.
As well, ISIS claims the attacker was a one of their soldiers, a lone wolf, and that he had recently converted to Islam. And it was just within the week that ISIS leader al-Baghdadi resurfaced calling for more violence and attacks against “coalition states” — meaning westerners. And what has occurred in the last 48 hours? We shared with you the attacks in Edmonton, Canada at a football game and in Marseille, France at a train station. And now this here, in America, Las Vegas — and ladies and gents, this is not fear mongering. This is what a military mind is trained to do: analyze trends and piece together information, and ask pertinent questions.
This was a targeted attack on a designated soft target. I want to just dispel this as a case of individual evil — perhaps it is indeed that, but more. We must come to grips and ascertain the motivation of this individual. This isn’t about the tool used, but the inspiration behind influencing this assault on innocent Americans.
I can certainly see the day is coming when baggage will be screened at our hotel — especially a high rise overlooking a public venue. Honestly, I pray this is not about Islamic jihadism. Why?
Because if we are now at a state where a 64-year-old white male from Mesquite, Nevada can be radicalized, we are in deep crap.
Editor’s Note: This column previously appeared at AllenBWest.com. Used with the permission of the author.
Lt. Col. Allen B. West is the former U.S. Congressman representing Florida’s 22nd District, a Fox News Contributor, a contributing columnist for Townhall.com, the former Executive Director of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas Texas, and the author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom.
Col. West is the third of four generations of military servicemen in his family. During his 22 year career in the United States Army, he was awarded the Bronze Star, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, 3 Army Commendation Medals (1 with Valor device), and a Valorous Unit Award. In 1993 he was named the US Army ROTC Instructor of the Year.
Col. West believes it will be principled constitutional conservative policies, not politics, which will secure a sound economic future for Americans.