UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS)
Saudi Arabia will withdraw 21 military students who were receiving military training in the United States after a US investigation into a Saudi officer shooting at three Americans at a naval base in Florida, an incident that US Attorney General William Barr described on Monday as a terrorist act.
The December 6 attack complicated US-Saudi relations at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, and Saudi crime in the region. The deputy police chief shot the gunman, a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force, Mohammed Saeed Al-Shamrani, and he was killed in the incident in Pensacola, Florida.
Bar provided previously undisclosed details related to al-Shamrani’s actions before the shooting.
Bar stated that 21 students were withdrawn from the US Army’s curriculum and would leave the United States within hours after the investigation showed that they either had child pornography or had social media accounts that contained extremist Islamic or anti-American content.
Bar suggested that Saudi Arabia had withdrawn the students rather than the United States formally expelled them, adding that the Saudi authorities had officially informed them that they would consider bringing criminal charges against them. A Justice Department official, who was briefing reporters on developments and asking not to be named, said that US officials agreed with the decision to withdraw them.
Barr told a news conference that there was no evidence that al-Shamrani had received assistance from other Saudi trainees, or that none of them had prior knowledge of the attack.
Three sailors were killed and eight others were wounded in this attack before the Shamrani police were killed.
“This is a terrorist act,” Barr said. Evidence showed that the gunman was driven by a jihadist ideology. During the course of the investigation, we learned that the gunman published a message on September 11 this year saying that the countdown had begun.
He added that al-Shamrani had also visited a memorial in New York City for the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks by Saudi kidnappers of al Qaeda. Al-Shamrani also published anti-American and anti-American communication messages and jihadist messages, including one two hours before the attack.
Bar said that Apple had not yet helped the FBI to open my Shamrani mobile phone. He added that the FBI has largely exhausted all its means of unlocking the phones.
In a statement, the company refused to confirm that it did not provide significant assistance in the investigation. She said she had responded quickly to the FBI’s requests for information since the day of the attack and provided a large amount of information to investigators.
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