Nearly 900 Saudi students grounded in naval air stations throughout the USA

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The Pentagon has suspended operational training for all Saudi military students in the United States, indefinitely halting flight instruction, firing range training and all other operations outside the classroom after the terror attack last week at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, reports the NY Times.

At least one Saudi student filmed the shooting in which 3 soldiers were killed. The shooter held radical Islamist and anti-U.S. views, but the investigation as to motive is not complete.

The suspension affects 900 Saudi students across the country.

According to the NY Times, classroom teaching, including language courses, will continue while Pentagon leaders review vetting procedures for all foreign military trainees. An estimated 5,100 international students in the United States will be covered by the security review.

This will continue until the results of the attack are published.

About 300 students will be grounded in Florida bases. The Pentagon later released a memo from David L. Norquist, the deputy secretary of defense, clarifying that the suspension would apply to 852 Saudis enrolled in all military training programs, the newspaper reported.

The memo described Saudi Arabia an “essential partner” that is working closely with the United States to investigate the shooting.

“The Department has trained more than 28,000 Saudi students over the life of our security cooperation relationship without serious incident,” Mr. Norquist wrote, according to the NY Times.


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