A 21-year-old Saudi military man who had become more religious after the last visit to his country, and who is associated with a Twitter account in which he quoted Osama bin Laden, opened fire on Friday at a naval base in Pensacola there he killed three people and wounded eight before he was killed by the police.
Even under the narrow definition of terrorism adopted after 9/11, which practically limits that label to Muslim fundamentalists, Mohammed Alshamrani would be an alleged terrorist, but this word has not yet come from President Donald Trump to refer to those facts.
He said that, yes, Rachel Rojas, the FBI agent in charge of the investigation, confirming on Sunday that he works with the presumption that the shooting was a terrorist act. Investigators have not yet clarified the reasons, although it is known that days before he organized a dinner in which he was watching videos of shootings with three Saudi friends. In a matter of hours those friends would be filming it.
“I am not trying to judge anyone, I know that today people take out the phones to film everything,” said Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, confirming that “one or two” were temporarily detained, since they now “cooperate »With the authorities. Trump, meanwhile, told reporters how “devastated” the Saudi monarch and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman are. “The king will be involved in helping the families (of the victims) and their loved ones,” he promised. “He is very sorry, he is very devastated,” he insisted.
The second lieutenant of the Saudi royal guard who trained with American aviation since 2017 would have completed the course next August, but everything indicates that his experience in the US helped radicalize him . After his last visit home in February, his friends and colleagues noticed that he had become “more religious.”
Shortly afterward an instructor insulted him in meteorology class without coming to mind when he referred to him as a “porn star,” in apparent reference to his mustache. “He laughed and said: ‘What, that you have never seen a porn star?’” He said in a complaint that he filed with the help of two fellow Americans. The incident left him “humiliated and enraged,” he wrote. However, the instructor was not sanctioned and within a few days he was assigned to a flight class, forcing him to complain again.
The episode occurred in April, so it is not known if it is related to the shooting. In the elapsed time he knew a Twitter account in which he paraphrased Bin Laden attacking the United States for committing crimes “not only against Muslims but also against Humanity.”
Days before Alshamrani and his three Saudi friends visited New York and strolled through the Rockefeller Center. The authorities now check the security cameras for fear that it was more than a tourist tour. The Pentagon, meanwhile, controls the program that allows more than 5,000 foreign military to train in the US, of which 850 are Saudi.