Overnight Defense: FBI says no international terrorism in Vegas shooting | ISIS claim puzzles experts | WH defends Trump North Korea tweets | Troops die in Iraq blast, Tennessee jet crash

Overnight Defense: FBI says no international terrorism in Vegas shooting | ISIS claim puzzles experts | WH defends Trump North Korea tweets | Troops die in Iraq blast, Tennessee jet crash
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THE TOPLINE: The Las Vegas shooting that killed at least 59 people and injured over 500 has no ties to an international terrorist group, the FBI said Monday.

"We have determined, to this point, no connection with an international terrorist group," an FBI special agent said Monday. "As this investigation continues, we will continue to work with our partners to ensure that this is factually, thoroughly and absolutely investigated, to be able to bring comfort and peace back to this community."

Earlier in the day, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed the shooter was one of its "soldiers," but provided no evidence to back up its claim.

Authorities have identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old Nevada resident, who was found dead in a hotel room.

President Trump called the shooting an "act of pure evil." But the White House said it was too soon to say whether it was "domestic terrorism."

Read more on that here.

 

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TERROR EXPERTS PUZZLED BY ISIS CLAIM: Less than 12 hours after a man identified by police as Stephen Paddock opened fire on an outdoor country music concert, killing at least 59 and perpetrating the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) issued a statement that puzzled terror experts.

The group took credit for the attack on its semi-official news agency, Amaq.

So far, there is no evidence that ISIS was involved beyond the group's own assurance that Paddock was "a soldier of the Caliphate." The group later doubled down on its claim, saying Paddock converted to Islam months ago.

Historically, ISIS has not been arbitrary in the attacks it claims have been carried out by its supporters. Experts who track the group closely say that when it comes to attacks in the West, if ISIS is claiming responsibility, there typically was some kind of connection between the perpetrator and the group.

The group does often claim responsibility for attacks that may have been merely inspired by the group's ideology -- not directed or funded by ISIS leadership. In either case, the group will credit "a soldier of the Caliphate."

The Hill's Katie Bo Williams has more on that here.

 

WHITE HOUSE DEFENDS TRUMP NORTH KOREA TWEETS: The White House on Monday sought to clarify President Trump's weekend tweets that Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonOvernight Defense: Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital | Mattis, Tillerson reportedly opposed move | Pentagon admits 2,000 US troops are in Syria | Trump calls on Saudis to 'immediately' lift Yemen blockade Trump has yet to name ambassadors to key nations in Mideast Mattis, Tillerson warned Trump of security concerns in Israel embassy move MORE was "wasting his time" by negotiating with North Korea.

Via The Hill's Ellen Mitchell:

"We've been clear that now is not the time to talk," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during the daily White House press briefing.

She said the only conversations the administration has had with Pyongyang are those that have been focused on returning Americans detained in that country such as Otto Warbier, the 22-year-old student who died in June shortly after his return from a 17-month imprisonment in North Korea.

"Those were the type of conversations that this administration was willing to have. Beyond that there will be no conversations with North Korea at this time," Sanders said.

Read more here.

 

US TROOP KILLED IN IRAQ: A service member was killed and another injured Sunday in Iraq after an improvised explosive struck their vehicle, according to the U.S. military-led coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The Defense Department has not released the nationality or names of the service members, "pending notification of next of kin," Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve said in a statement.

The Washington Post reported that the attack involved Americans.

No other details of the attack were released.

The Hill's Ellen Mitchell has the story here.

 

TWO DEAD IN NAVY JET CRASH: Two Navy pilots died when their training aircraft crashed in east Tennessee, the Navy said Monday.

"Two pilots were aboard the aircraft, an instructor and a student. The pilots did not survive the incident," the office of the Chief of Naval Air Training said in a statement Monday.

The T-45 training aircraft went missing Sunday and was believed to have crashed.

Training Air Wing ONE, based at Naval Air Station Meridian, Miss., confirmed Monday morning that it crashed, according to the statement.

Read more here.

 

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW:

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital | Mattis, Tillerson reportedly opposed move | Pentagon admits 2,000 US troops are in Syria | Trump calls on Saudis to 'immediately' lift Yemen blockade Trump has yet to name ambassadors to key nations in Mideast Mattis, Tillerson warned Trump of security concerns in Israel embassy move MORE and Gen. Joseph Dunford testify on Afghanistan strategy before the Senate Armed Services Committee at 10 a.m. at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, room G-50. http://bit.ly/2xRc53i

Mattis and Dunford testify on the Afghanistan strategy before the House Armed Services Committee at 1 p.m. at the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2118. http://bit.ly/2wuoPcp

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider the nomination of Kenneth Juster to be the U.S. ambassador to India 10 a.m. at Dirksen 419. http://bit.ly/2xLX8Px

A House Armed Services subcommittee will hear from the former ambassador to Iraq and other Middle East experts on securing peace after the fall of the Islamic State at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Rayburn 2212. http://bit.ly/2xRGYkI

A House Foreign Affairs panel will hear from outside experts on Iraq and Syria genocide emergency relief and accountability at 2 p.m. at Rayburn 2172. http://bit.ly/2xHw6Ho

 

ICYMI: 

-- The Hill: GOP senator knocks Trump: 'Not a fan of governing by tweet'

-- The Hill: Ex-defense secretary: Diplomacy is worth it if it saves one soldier's life

-- The Hill: Lawmakers look to bypass Trump on North Korea sanctions

-- Military Times: US MQ-9 drone shot down in Yemen

-- Washington Post: A North Korean ship was seized off Egypt with a huge cache of weapons destined for a surprising buyer

-- Associated Press: US general: We'll fly where international rules allow 

 

Please send tips and comments to Rebecca Kheel, rkheel@thehill.com, and Ellen Mitchell, emitchell@thehill.com.

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