Published: Tue, December 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Saudi gunman tweeted against US before NAS Pensacola shooting

Saudi gunman tweeted against US before NAS Pensacola shooting

"I was trained in a USA military base and we used that valuable training to fight side by side with our American allies against terrorism and other threats", Prince Khalid added on Twitter.

The official also told AP that investigators believe Alshamrani went to New York City a few days before the shooting, and they are trying to figure out the goal of his trip.

Additionally, authorities believe the gunman made social media posts in which he talked about USA support for Israel and charged that Americans are anti-Muslim, a US official told The Associated Press on Sunday.

US authorities also believe the killer visited several sites in New York City in the days leading up to the shooting, including Rockefeller Center.

The shooting is the second at a US naval base in one week.

Rojas said the Saudi government has pledged full cooperation with the FBI investigation, which would help identify and eliminate any threats to the Pensacola area.

Cpt Kinsella Jnr said that about 200 worldwide students were enrolled in programmes there.

"He went out and, and killed a number of Americans", Mr. O'Brien said. "It looks from what we're seeing in the public reports, this looks like something that's terrorism or something akin to terrorism". "We'll have to see what the FBI investigation shows, what his motivations were". The victims have not been officially identified, but the older brother of Joshua Kaleb Watson said the 23-year old, who reported to the base for flight training two weeks ago, "saved countless lives today with his own". Investigators are continuing to examine the shooter's online profiles and social media postings.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California, he said investigators must be allowed to do their work first.

The shooting marks a setback in the kingdom's efforts to shrug off its long-standing reputation for promoting religious extremism after the September 11, 2001, attacks, in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.

The United States has long had a robust training program for the Saudis, providing assistance at home and in the kingdom.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed on "Fox News Sunday" that a Saudi national who knew the gunman recorded the shooting.

Esper said he had asked the Pentagon to "review what our screening procedures are" before soldiers from other countries come to the United States for training.

Three days into the investigation, Rojas revealed little else about Alshamrani, his beliefs, or his background.

Authorities have not said the other students were involved. Rojas stated on Sunday that he had acquired the gun legally.

Investigators believe the gunman visited New York City, including Rockefeller Center, in the days before the shooting, a USA official told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Ten Saudi students were being held on the base Saturday while several others were unaccounted for, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity after being briefed by federal authorities.

It took place across two floors of a classroom building and ended when a sheriff's deputy killed Alshamrani. The shooting left three service members dead and eight others injured. The other deputy had surgery on Friday and is expected to recover, Simmons said.

The sailors were killed after a gunman opened fire inside one of the base's classrooms on Friday.

Germany, Singapore, Italy, Denmark and Norway have also sent students to Naval Air Station Pensacola, also known as the "Cradle of Naval Aviation".

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