An investigation into the December 6 Pensacola Naval Air Station shooting determined it was a terror attack by a Saudi trainee. As a result of the investigation, 21 Saudi cadets were kicked out of the program and sent home.
There are thousands of allied personnel training throughout the United States and Bill Barr emphasized that we have had a long and important relationship with Saudi Arabia.
Barr said investigators had found evidence that Ahmed Mohammed al-Shamrani, a Royal Saudi Air Force member training at the base, was motivated by “jihadist ideology,” and he posted anti-American messages on social media about two hours before his attack.
He killed three U.S. sailors at the base.
FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich said that during the attack, al-Shamrani fired shots at pictures of President Trump and a past U.S. president, and witnesses at the scene said he made statements critical of American military actions overseas. Bowdich said al Shamrani did not seem to be inspired by any one group.
There were feats of bravery during the 15-minute long attack, especially by Ryan Blackwell who ministered to others although shot five times. Listen to the press conference.
The killer’s social media echoed that of Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone attack by the Obama administration.
Barr said 21 cadets from Saudi Arabia had been disenrolled from their training and would be returning to the kingdom later Monday. Justice Department officials said 12 were from the Pensacola base, and nine were from other military bases. Some had child pornography and others had Jihadi material, but not of enough significance to charge them.
Attorney General Barr said the Kingdom has given unprecedented cooperation.