More troubling information emerging about the shooting yesterday at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.
Six Saudi nationals have been detained for questioning in the wake of the shooting that left three people dead and eight wounded, including two police officers. According to reports, three of Saudis detained were seen “filming the entire incident, according to a person briefed on the initial stages of the investigation.”
The shooter has been identified as an aviation student from Saudi Arabia, Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force.
The Pentagon told CBS News that the shooter had been in the country since August 2017 pursuant to a U.S. Air Force Foreign Military Sales training case funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that he was scheduled to stay until August 2020. He was enrolled in English, basic aviation, and initial pilot training at the station, the Pentagon added.
According to Fox:
Alshamrani was said to be a student in a U.S. Navy training program for foreign military personnel.
That program is aimed at “immersing international students in our U.S. Navy training and culture” to help “build partnership capacity for both the present and for the years ahead,” Cmdr. Bill Gibson, the center’s officer in charge, said in 2017. “These relationships are truly a win-win for everyone involved.”
But the shooter had written anti-American things on social media, according to reports.
The FBI is seeking to determine how a Saudi national obtained a gun & carried it onto a Florida naval base, killing 3.
@POTUS says Saudi King Salman called to convey that the "heinous crime" does not represent the Saudi people.
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) December 6, 2019
But Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) called for a “full review” of the program and and said they were looking into whether this was terrorism.
“I’m very concerned that the shooter in Pensacola was a foreign national training on a U.S. base. Today, I’m calling for a full review of the U.S. military programs to train foreign nationals on American soil. We shouldn’t be providing military training to people who wish us harm,” Scott wrote.
According to Fox, most of the hundreds of pilots who have participated in the program are from Saudi Arabia.
Saudis have received training at the Pensacola site since the 1970s, with as many as 20 students from the Middle Eastern country in any given class, sources told Fox News. Many of the students are often from the Royal Family, putting pressure on officials to pass pilots through the training program in an attempt to preserve diplomacy with the U.S. ally.
Many U.S. military pilots have complained for decades that some of the Saudi pilots are not safe flyers, sources said. [….]
15 of the 19 hijackers involved in the 9/11 attack were from Saudi Arabia.