The death toll from a terrorist attack at a leisure centre in Manila for which ISIS have claimed responsibility has left at least 36 dead with the death toll said to be rising.
Reports indicate that a lone masked gunman started firing shots into a crowd of people at Resort World Manila before setting himself on fire, although conflicting official reports state that he was shot dead. Many have concluded that the man was shot before setting himself ablaze.
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) June 2, 2017
He was reported to be a tall, pale skinned man who spoke English.
According to President Duterte’s spokesman Ernesto Abella
“All indications point to a criminal act by an apparently emotionally disturbed individual. Although the perpetrator gave warning shots, there apparently was no indication that he wanted to do harm or shoot anyone. The 34 (the figure has since risen) deceased all died by suffocation”.
This would indicate that while it was a criminal act that can be prima facie described as terrorism, the man was a lone-wolf psychopath who was not necessarily operating under instructions from ISIS. Claims that he did not intend to cause actual harm should be received with scepticism for the time being.
However, it is noteworthy that ISIS have not retracted their claim of responsibility for the atrocity.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.