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Donald Trump Pensacola attack: United States to evaluate screening of foreign military

Donald Trump

Donald Trump Pensacola attack: United States to evaluate screening of foreign military

Image copyright US Navy Image caption Mohammad Sameh Haitham and Joshua Kaleb Watson were two of three young sailors killed The FBI says it is treating Friday’s deadly attack on a Florida navy base as a presumed terrorist attack. The Saudi gunman – who was training at the Pensacola site – killed three sailors before…

Donald Trump Pensacola attack: United States to evaluate screening of foreign military

Donald Trump

Donald Trump Airman Mohammad Sameh Haitham (left) and ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson Image copyright
United States Navy

Image caption

Mohammad Sameh Haitham and Joshua Kaleb Watson were two of 3 young sailors killed.

The FBI says it is dealing with Friday’s fatal attack on a Florida navy base as a presumed terrorist attack.

The Saudi shooter – who was training at the Pensacola site – eliminated 3 sailors before he was shot dead.

Special representative Rachel Rojas said the FBI was trying to identify if he had actually acted alone or had connections to a group.

She said other Saudi students had been questioned but not arrested. They were apparently confined to the base and co-operating with investigators.

The victims of the attack have actually been called as Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, and Cameron Scott Walters, 21.

The US Navy stated the sailors “revealed remarkable heroism and bravery in the face of evil”.

In Sunday’s press conference, Ms Rojas gave nearly no details of the investigation’s findings so far.

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Media caption Rachel Rojas states there is no new ‘trustworthy’ hazard following the shooting

However, she did state that the gunman, 21- year-old Mohammed Alshamrani, bought his weapon legally in the US. It was a 9mm pistol.

It has been reported in United States media that Alshamrani played mass-shooting videos to others at a dinner earlier in the week, according to a confidential official briefed on the investigation.

A Twitter user appearing to match Alshamrani’s identity also made a series of anti-US posts before the shooting, an online tracking group states.

Alshamrani had also filed an official problem against one of his instructors over a label which he stated had humiliated him.

Alshamrani declared the instructor had actually called him “Porn Stash”, an obvious referral to the moustache of a porn star, in front of 10 other aviation trainees in April.

” I was exasperated regarding why he would state that in front of the class,” Alshamrani composed in the grievance, the New york city Times reported

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Image caption

The gunman has actually been formally called as Mohammed Alshamrani by the FBI.

At a different interview on Sunday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated the gunman had “a major social networks trail” and required more rigid security measures.

” This person was someone who just had a deep-seated hatred for the United States which was quite clear from that,” he said.

” My view is that … for us to be bringing in these foreign nationals, you have to take preventative measures to protect the nation.”

Donald Trump Why were Saudis at the US base?

The Pensacola base has actually long provided aviation training to foreign military forces.

Saudi pilots began training there in 1995, alongside other personnel from Italy, Singapore and Germany.

Cpt Kinsella Jnr stated that about 200 worldwide students were registered in programs there. According to its site, the base employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel.

Alshamrani was a 2nd lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force.

Earlier US Defence Secretary Mark Esper bought a review of the screening process for foreign military in the US.

Mr Esper informed Fox News Sunday he had instructed leading defence officials to check out security steps at bases.

President Donald Trump has likewise promised to evaluate foreign military programs.

Donald Trump What took place on Friday?

Authorities were signaled to the shooting at the Pensacola base at 06: 51 (11: 51 GMT).

It occurred throughout two floors of a classroom structure and ended when a constable’s deputy eliminated Alshamrani.

Eight individuals were also injured in the shooting, consisting of two officers, who are expected to recuperate.

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Member of the family of Joshua Kaleb Watson stated he was shot several times however made it out of the structure to signal very first responders.

On Facebook, his sibling Adam Watson composed: “He died a hero and we are beyond happy but there is a hole in our hearts that can never be filled.”

Capt Tim Kinsella, the base’s commanding officer, said of the three sailors killed: “When challenged, they didn’t run from risk; they ran towards it and saved lives.”

Saudi Arabia is an essential US ally in the Middle East and President Trump stated the Saudi king called him after the attack to “express his genuine acknowledgements and provide his compassions to the friends and families of the warriors who were killed”.

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Media caption Florida guv: “The Saudi federal government will owe a financial obligation here”

Donald Trump Questions over the US-Saudi relationship

Just as he did in the wake of the murder of the dissident Saudi reporter Jamal Khashoggi in his nation’s consulate in Istanbul, President Trump is seeking to play down the significance of the Pensacola shooting.

For a president who mostly sees foreign policy in transactional terms, Saudi Arabia is a great client for the United States. Billions of dollars in weapons sales equates into more than 5,500 momentary visas being released to the Saudi military to come to the United States. Saudi workers comprise about 16%of the foreign workers being trained at US military schools and other centers. The Pensacola shooting is already raising concerns about the vetting of these individuals.

But more broadly it when again highlights the long-standing relationship between Washington and Riyadh – a relationship that lots of critics in Congress view as significantly dubious in the wake of the Khashoggi murder and the Saudi military assault in Yemen.

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