This past week the topic of the Las Vegas shooting and the real motivations behind it has been discussed in depth just about everywhere. This includes here on Squawker where we have explored two separate popular theories including the attack being a result of a Saudi arms deal gone wrong, and the possibility of it being a planned “high incident project” that may have even been warned about online three weeks prior to the attack.
Despite this heavy coverage though there is one aspect to the story that’s gone oddly underreported by both the mainstream and online press. That is the fact this attack featured an odd characteristic in common with many other recent tragedies. In this case that common characteristic being that just before the attack a mock terrorist drill occurred which eerily mirrored the real incident following soon after.
While largely overlooked in the aftermath of the shooting, authorities in Vegas had actually just recently completed a three day terror attack simulation drill. As reported at the time by the local Las Vegas CBS affiliate, “Authorities will stage a mock terrorism drill that will take place on the Strip, at the Clark County Government Center, and at the Las Vegas Convention Center.” It wasn’t just local authorities involved in staging this drill however as “more than 70 local, state, and federal agencies helped plan the exercise.”
All this begging the question of why would Paddock, a man who according the official story at least supposedly carefully planned out his attack over a long period, have chosen to target a city which had just prepared for such an event in the first place? Especially when rather intense footage of these active shooter drills were even placed online where Paddock surely had seen them.
There is also the continued strange trend of terrorist drills and simulation runs being scheduled just prior to actual attacks in those same areas to consider. Obviously the most famous and widely discussed example of this is the plane hijacking simulation being run on the morning of 9/11. While I will not go deeper into that rather unbelievable coincidence now, more can be found about the five separate terror drills running on 9/11 right here. It doesn’t stop at 9/11 though, with this at the time one off coincidence having now started instead to feel more like a common trend. With oddly timed and located terror drills being run during or just prior to all of the following attacks.
2005 London Subway Bombings
2011 Norway Oslo Attacks
2012 Sandy Hook Shooting
2012 Aurora “Batman” Shooting
2013 Taft Union High School Shooting
2013 Boston Marathon Bombing
A full list of the connected drills that proceeded these attacks can be found here. As ever we here at Squawker make no claims to the veracity of any of these theories. But even if most truly are just strange coincidences, the sheer amount of coincidences has now become worth questioning all on its own.
To murky the waters even more, the heads of U.S. Homeland Security actually met in Las Vegas just months ago. There in part to plan the Las Vegas set mock terrorist drill. While the Nevada Homeland Security Commission Chairman said of the meeting, “I think this emphasizes the point that they are still out there. It’s not time for us to fall asleep at the switch. It’s time for us to go forward and make those recommendations to the governor that protect the citizens of Nevada.” Was the real high level discussion at the meeting planning for a drill designed to help prevent against an attack, or rather for one meant to help control the response to an incident they already knew was coming?
This question becomes more reasonable when you consider all the big talk that came out as a result of this drill seemingly amounted to nothing. For example in an interview following the Homeland Security meeting, former Vegas sheriff and now head of Wynn Las Vegas security, Jerry Keller stated, “that casino security staff at all Las Vegas hotels have been alerted to keep an eye out just in case.” If that was true though, then how did the Mandalay Bay really let a lone 64 year old man carry a near full sized armory up to his hotel room just a few weeks later?
As this local news segment discussing terrorism in Vegas states, “the city has squads of intelligence agencies working behind the scenes” to prevent just an attack like the one that was somehow allowed to occur last week. With this in mind it would seem unlikely that Paddock truly carried his successful attack out alone without assistance from some well connected people.