It seems that, whenever a terror attacks happens these days, three things are certain.
1. A hopelessly banal '#prayfor[INSERT NAME HERE]' hashtag will begin circulating on the internet.
2. The US President will make an injudicious comment that only adds to the victims' suffering.
3. Islamic State will claim responsibility.
Yep, whenever a maniac decides to blow themselves off or start firing indiscriminately at innocent passers-by, Isis are never far away - or so they'd have you believe. Like an omniscient puppet-master bent on death and mutilation, they are lurking in the background behind every atrocity, an invisible finger of doom depressing triggers and detonators.
It seems there's no act the group won't claim, as long as it involves death on a massive scale. The Las Vegas shooting might stretch the bounds of plausibility - after all the gunman, a man in his 60s with a girlfriend, didn't exactly come from Isis' core target market of young, single losers. His family said he had no political or religious affiliation. And he'd also racked up vast gambling debts, not exactly consistent with a life of abstemious purity.
But apparently this was all a colossal ruse. Isis tell us he'd converted to Islam several months ago, under the name of Abu Abd al-Bar al-Amriki, and had been plotting jihad ever since. All that time he was throwing away money at the blackjack table, eating his beloved burritoes, or flying one of the two planes he owned, he was thinking of how to kill dozens of innocent people (although, if we were being cynical, we'd suggest the planes gave him the perfect tool with which to perpetrate a massacre, had he been so inclined).
Then again, perhaps we shouldn't be so surprised. Because apparently Isis has been behind 18 terror attacks in the Western world this year alone. That's around two a month - not bad for a group that's in full-scale retreat in its Iraqi-Syrian stronghold.
Some of those you'll no doubt have heard about. The Manchester Arena attack, for example, when scores of children were blown up, for the heinous crime of liking bubblegum US pop music. The string of vehicle-related attacks, in Westminster, London Bridge, and Las Ramblas. The recent attack on Parsons Green, where the bombers were so thick they couldn't even get their device to work properly.
But there've been plenty more, too. You may well have missed the attack in the far-eastern Russian city of Khabarovsk in April, for example, which Isis lapped up despite Russia's own security services claiming the attacker was a neo-Nazi, not a jihadist.Or the stabbing spree in Marseille just last Sunday, which passed under many people's radars because of the tumult surrounding Catalonia and the Conservative Party, but which was, nonetheless, seized by Isis as a PR victory.
The map below, compiled by the renowned terror monitoring service SITE Intel, shows all 18 terror attacks claimed by Isis this year. You've got to hand it to them: they may be in full retreat in their original strongholds, their warped creed being ground into the desert dust, but their recruitment (or should it be) propaganda machine is still in tip-top shape.