Last Friday, November 16th, Politico initiated an Information Operations attack designed to silence public discussion of the October 2017 massacre in Las Vegas that claimed the lives of 58 people and left 851 others wounded.
Understanding the Threat (UTT) believes it is important to respond to this attack in order to set the record straight and remove Politico’s distortions, omissions, and half-truths while providing UTT readers with the facts regarding the largest mass shooting in American history.
The Politico article is titled “Anatomy of a Conspiracy Theory” and was authored by Keith Kloor. The article is a lengthy diatribe that willfully ignores available facts and discounts or omits evidence that does not support the author’s narrative regarding the Las Vegas attack.
The timing of this Politico article is interesting as it comes two weeks after another hit piece in the Guardian, authored by former resident of Melbourne, Australia and pro-ANTIFA author, Jason Wilson. This hit piece by Wilson targets Washington State Legislator and combat veteran Matt Shea for his discussion of the real and imminent threat from the Islamic and Marxist Counter-States inside the U.S.
These counter state threats are the exact threat detailed by Richard Higgins when he worked inside the National Security Council of the Trump Administration. The same Richard Higgins who led the Department of Defense’s Combatting Terrorism Technical Support Office during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the same Richard Higgins targeted in the Politico article.
The article targets former CIA Station Chief Brad Johnson as well.
Since these attacks by both Politico and Guardian come 16 months after Higgins memo was leaked, the timing of these articles discrediting factual information about the Las Vegas shooting – which is possibly the first joint ANTIFA and ISIS attack on U.S. soil – cannot be merely coincidental.
UTT will now present some of the facts about the Las Vegas attack of which Politico’s Keith Kloor is aware, yet failed to share with readers, and then examine a few points made by Keith Kloor in the Politico article that are demonstrably false.
Facts Regarding the October 1 Las Vegas Attack
1. The Islamic State issued two warnings to Las Vegas in the months prior to the October 1, 2017 terrorist attack. These warning were issued by internet video posting to known Islamic State media outlets, and specifically threatened attacks against outdoor venues while depicting several landmark Las Vegas targets (including hotels).
2. In July 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Acting Director Andrew McCabe was in receipt of an internal memorandum which specifically warned of collaboration between the Islamic State and Anti-Fascist Action terrorist groups. This warning is reminiscent of the Colleen Rowley memo about muslim flight students learning to take off, but not land their aircraft, in the months prior to the 9-11 attack.
3. The Islamic State stated they prioritized recruiting of white Westerners for the jihad.
4. On October 1, 2017, an open-air music concert was attacked by gunfire from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas killing 58 and wounding 851.
5. Melbourne, Australia ANTIFA claimed credit for the attack one time via Facebook posting that specifically cited their targeting of “fascist Trump supporting dogs.”
6. The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed credit for the attack 4 times.
7. One of the mediums used by the Islamic State to claim the attack has never been used by the Islamic State to claim an attack in the West that it did not commit.
8. The Islamic State claimed – in the same medium through which they have never falsely claimed an attack in the West – that Stephen Paddock converted to Islam “several months” before the attack.
9. An FBI agent directly reported to UTT President John Guandolo: “Listening to FBI agents speak about the Las Vegas attack reveals there is an automatic dismissal on their part that this attack has anything to do with the Islamic Movement. This attitude is so well seated in the FBI that it drives all investigative efforts away from Islam and the Islamic State.”
10. After first being dismissed as a crazed white gunman, it was discovered shooter Stephen Paddock had range calculations next to his weapons, conducted pre-operational surveillance of other target locations in other cities, procured almost 6000 rounds of ammunition, procured more than 50 weapons and modified some for rapid fire, used burner phones, executed sophisticated communications operations, utilized digital dead drops and other applied tradecraft, prepared shooting positions in the room, planned escape routes, and set up video surveillance in the hallways.
Facts Regarding Brian Hodge
1. Brian Hodge, who like Jason Wilson the author of the Guardian hit piece, is a native of Melbourne, Australia but presently resides in Los Angeles, California. Brian Hodge was at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas during the Las Vegas attack on October 1, 2017.
2. Hodge put out on his social media that “The shooter was next to me. His room is 32135 and I’m room 32134.” In fact, room 32134 at the Mandalay Bay was rented by Stephen Paddock. This statement placing himself at the attack sight is alone cause for additional inquiry, however, it is Mr. Hodge’s other media statements, alibis and travel patterns that are most troubling and in need of additional explanation.
3. In numerous media interviews – he did at least 8 print, radio and television interviews – Brian Hodge claims to have been on the 32nd floor while the shooting was going on, exited via an elevator to the ground floor, exited the building through a kitchen, and hid outside the Mandalay bay in the bushes for 3 1/2 hours – despite the fact the shooting lasted 15 minutes. No person has ever come forward to substantiate Brian Hodge’s alibi despite his constant claims to have been with “his team.”
4. While Brian Hodge was supposedly “hiding in the bushes” of the Mandalay Bay, his social media applications reveal Hodge was in the vicinity of the Knotty Pine Motel in North Las Vegas. Mr. Hodge’s presence at this location is further supported by Hodge’s claims to reporter Nicole Barlow that he was “staying at a hotel on the outskirts of town while awaiting further instructions.” See link to Hodge statement here.
5. Investigative efforts reveal two parties staying at the Knotty Pine motel on the night of the attack. Room receipts show that 3 individuals were registered to room 17 from September 29 through October 1, which is too small for three adult males to have actually stayed in. The vehicle associated with that group was registered to a male Mexican approximately 36 years of age from Guanajuato Mexico, specifically the town of Penjamo. This area is known for significant Islamic State recruitment.
6. Immediately following the attack, Brian Hodge went quiet on his twitter for several days and traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico October 2nd through 4th. His phone, on two separate days, used the WIFI port located by the Anatolia Doner Kebab House, owned by Mehmet Kokangul. Kokangul is a Turkish national from Adana, Turkey, a town also known for significant Islamic State activity. Mehmet Kokangul is also known to the U.S. government and is on either a Watch List or a similar State Department list of persons who are potential threats. Kokangul’s social media has gone silent since his name was first publicly associated with Brian Hodge and the Las Vegas attack in May 2018.
7. After the attack, Brian Hodge was photographed at the crime scene in what several law enforcement sources have dubbed a “trophy photo.” See photo below.
8. Mr. Hodge’s phone contains the contact information for New York based Umra and Hajj services organizations. This is assessed as anomalous given that he does not appear to be a practicing Muslim.
9. Mr. Hodge’s travel patterns prior to the October 2017 Las Vegas attack appear odd and unexplained. Mr. Hodge traveled to Berlin, Paris, London and back to Berlin in September of 2017. Following the attack, in November 2017, Mr. Hodge traveled to London and Berlin for one day. Also following the attack, Mr. Hodge traveled all the way to Melbourne Australia for only one day in December 2017.
10. Despite the narrative put forward in his radio interviews, Mr. Hodge is familiar with firearms and his social media shows he invited his friends to the shooting range.
11. In the Politico article, Kloor reports Brian Hodge told him the FBI “called him” to get information on the day following the attack. As a former Special Agent (UTT President John Guandolo), it is hard to imagine the level of incompetence it would take for an FBI agent who knows of Brian Hodge’s claims he was on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay during the Las Vegas attack, to conduct an interview of Hodge by phone. How would the FBI know to call Mr. Hodge so soon after the attack while in the middle of processing more than 58 homicides? Why would the FBI call Mr. Hodge instead of interviewing him at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, where Mr. Hodge claims to have remained until October 5, 2017?
12. Politico writer Keith Kloor does not appear to have been able to identify a single individual who was able to support any of Mr. Hodge’s claims or his alibi.
UTT has never claimed the above facts definitively prove Brian Hodge was involved in the Las Vegas attack, but these facts raise serious questions that must be professionally addressed by investigators before this matter can truly be considered closed.
False Claims Made by Kloor in his Politico Article
1. “The idea (that the Las Vegas attack involved more than just Stephen Paddock as a lone gunman) sprang from the twisted, feverish mind of Infowars’ Alex Jones days after the Vegas attack.”
This is simply untrue. In the early morning after the attack, Understanding the Threat (UTT) published – via social media – the Las Vegas attack was likely a jihad attack, and by noon of October 2nd confirmed our initial assessment. On October 3rd, we wrote our first of several articles detailing the facts, which pointed to a jihadi attack. UTT President John Guandolo did numerous interviews on radio and TV making this assessment clear based on facts and evidence known at the time.
2. “In response to questions about the theory, Sandra Breault, an FBI spokesperson, said only: ‘The FBI Las Vegas office has the utmost confidence in our agents and analysts’ investigative techniques.’”
It should be noted that in the 12 years UTT’s President John Guandolo has been briefing senior government officials, FBI agents, members of Joint Terrorism Task Forces across the country, the National Joint Terrorism Task Force, and others, the universal response to UTT training is that attendees, including FBI analysts/agents/Task Force Officers do not know the information UTT presents about the Islamic Movement in the United States, their doctrine – sharia, nor about the network that supports jihadi operations, including collaborators from Black Lives Matters, ANTIFA, and others.
3. “Even as there appears to be no hard evidence supporting Higgins’ and Johnson’s theory…”
See the list of facts above.
4. “Hodge also made misstatements – for instance, mistakenly saying his hotel room was next door to the shooter’s, rather than just on the same floor.”
Brian Hodge typed on his social media account that he was staying in room 32134, which is a room that was rented by the accused shooter Stephen Paddock. At a minimum, this requires an in-person interview with a pair of FBI agents. Additionally, Mr. Hodge made the following statements – all of which are worthy of investigative clarification – in more than 8 interviews he conducted immediately following the attack:
- Hodge identifies himself as staying inside the shooter’s suite, located on the 32nd floor during the time of the attack, departing the floor via the elevator, exiting the
hotel through the kitchen, and hiding in the bushes for 3.5 hours.
- Mr. Hodge describes in vivid detail the view from the 32nd floor as the victims were cut down with “sweeping shots” and uses the term “full on” to excitedly describe the attack.
- Mr. Hodge claims he was monitoring social media and listening to police “live scans.”
- Mr. Hodge states in his interview there are “100-odd shots” which is a strange coincidence given the use of 100 round sure-fire magazines.
- Mr. Hodge expresses concerns about “how to demonstrate we are civilians?” as well as a general fear of getting shot by the police.
- Mr. Hodge states that immediately after the attack he needed to “stay down, stay hidden” for 3.5 hours.
- Mr. Hodge says, “from the hotel room….some of my team….could see” when describing what the attack was like in vivid detail.
5. “Such speculation ran wild in the days and weeks after the shooting. Part of this stemmed from the Islamic State’s “news” agency having declared a role in the attack; as some experts observed at the time, the propaganda arm of the Islamic State tends not to make false claims about such events. But no evidence was ever offered by the jihadis, and the FBI ruled out the possibility.”
Even in recognizing the Islamic State does not falsify these type of claims for attacks, Kloor utterly dismisses the four (4) official claims by the Islamic State for the Las Vegas attacks, while failing to mention there is still no other viable motive for this attack on the table.
Regarding the fact the “FBI ruled out the possibility” the attack was the work of the Islamic State readers should review item #2 above. Readers should also remember that jihadi attacks at Fort Lauderdale, Boston, Fort Hood, Little Rock, and many others were done by people the FBI interviewed and failed to take action on. In the case of the Fort Hood jihadi, the FBI’s response revealed Counterterrorism agents have zero understanding of sharia (Islamic law) and how it drives the actions and operational tactics of the Islamic Counter-State. Nor does the FBI have a strategic investigation on the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood which controls the primary network supporting the terrorist attacks on the United States.
Furthermore, the FBI’s own website reveals the three (3) Islamic organizations the FBI considers “outreach partners” are all Muslim Brotherhood groups. What all of this means is the FBI has a consistent record for over a decade of failing to identify and address the massive jihadi network in America and the doctrine that drives it.
6. “One piece of evidence given for Hodge’s supposed ISIS ties is that he allegedly ate at a Turkish Doner Kebab restaurant in New Mexico in the days after the attack. Except even that is untrue, according to Hodge, who insists he never traveled to New Mexico, much went to the restaurant.” (sic)
Not only is this a false statement, it reveals an unprofessional attitude on the part of Keith Kloor. Kloor relies solely on the word of Brian Hodge, who has failed to provide a single person capable of supporting his alibis, despite the fact technical evidence reveals Hodge’s phone twice pinged on the WIFI inside the Kebab House in Albuquerque. Therefore, Hodge is lying to Kloor about being in the Kebab House owned by a Turkish national who is on a watch list and who hails from an area of Turkey (Adana) with significant Islamic State presence/activity. Why would Brian Hodge lie about that? Why would Keith Kloor omit these facts?
What remains are unanswered questions about the largest attack by a gunman in U.S. history. These questions must be answered and an investigation conducted by professional who understand the threat of Islam, its doctrine (sharia), and the network that supports it here in America. Justice demands it.
The United States Congress has not held a single hearing about the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas attack, even though it was the largest mass shooting in American history and resulted in over 800 casualties. Why not?
Now, we have a well-timed attack on three prominent, professional Patriots – Richard Higgins, Brad Johnson, Matt Shea – who speak truth and raise concerns about real threat to the Republic from the Marxist and Islamic Counter-States.
Should it surprise us that people repeating the fact that the Las Vegas attack was perpetrated by the Islamic State are being attacked by an arm of the Marxist Counter-State (Politico)?
This is likely only the leading edge of a broader campaign by the Marxists to derail an honest appraisal of security concerns in the U.S. Like other collaborators with their jihadi allies, Politico joins the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League as enemies of America’s Constitutional Republic.