FBI officials have detained nearly a dozen Saudi nationals and are searching for several others after a member of the Saudi military opened fire on the Naval Air Station (NAS) in Pensacola, Florida, on Friday killing three and wounding several others.
Sources told The Associated Press that three students attended the dinner party, and that one of those students recorded a video of the attacker committing the attack as it happened.
“Two other Saudi students watched from a car,” the AP reported. “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.”
President Donald Trump responded to the attack, writing: “King Salman of Saudi Arabia just called to express his sincere condolences and give his sympathies to the families and friends of the warriors who were killed and wounded in the attack that took place in Pensacola, Florida. The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.”
….The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2019
CNN noted the gravity of the phone call that Trump had because it was with King Salman not his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“Compared to Saudi Arabia’s often glacial standards, the 83-year-old monarch moved with remarkable speed to call Trump,” CNN reported. “The king quickly instructed his own security services to cooperate fully with US investigators into the shooting in which three people were killed at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.”
The FBI requested more information from the public about the alleged attacker, tweeting: “The NAS Pensacola shooter is identified as Saudi national Mohammed Alshamrani. Anyone with information regarding his activites is encouraged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI. FBI Jacksonville is not aware of any credible threat toward the Pensacola community at this time.”
The Daily Wire normally does not publish names and photographs of alleged mass shooters but is doing so in this case since federal law enforcement officials are asking for the public’s assistance in gathering information about the attacker.
The NAS Pensacola shooter is identified as Saudi national Mohammed Alshamrani. Anyone with information regarding his activites is encouraged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI. FBI Jacksonville is not aware of any credible threat toward the Pensacola community at this time. pic.twitter.com/RNc8ZL89WS
— FBI Jacksonville (@FBIJacksonville) December 8, 2019
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said on Friday that the alleged Saudi military official who committed the attack had committed an act of terrorism.
“Major news organizations are now reporting the information that we began to learn earlier this morning that it was a Saudi Arabian military official in Pensacola, in our community for training, who committed these murderous acts and this terrible, terrible violence at NAS Pensacola,” Gaetz said. “I think it’s important for us to know a little bit about why Saudi Arabian officials are in our community.”
“This event represents a serious failure in the vetting process and in the way in which we invite these people into our community,” Gaetz continued. “So today, as we learn more as the investigation continues to unfold … I’m going to be very active in working with the Department of Defense and the Department of State to ensure that we have extreme vetting for the people that come into our country on our bases and in our communities.”
“If this were a murder, it would typically be investigated by NCIS … but this was not a murder,” Gaetz later added. “This was an act of terrorism and as we speak the investigation is being handed over from the NCIS to the FBI, that is the signal that this will now be treated by our government as an act of terrorism, not a murder.”