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Attorney General William Barr Says Shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola Was Terrorism


The Department of Justice announced on Monday that the December 6, 2019 shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola was an act of terrorism.

“The evidence shows that the shooter was motivated by jihadist ideology,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr said at a press conference. “During the course of the investigation, we learned that the shooter posted a message on social media on September 11th of last year that said, ‘the countdown has begun.'”

Authorities said that Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force, opened fire at the Naval Air Station in a planned attack, injuring eight, and killing three.

Navy officials credit the three men who died for saving lives. They were identified as Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21.

Alshamrani was at the naval air station as part of a joint training program between the United States and Saudi Arabia. As previously reported over the weekend, at least a dozen Saudi trainees are likely to be sent back to Saudi Arabia because the Federal Bureau of Investigation said they were linked to extremist philosophy, or were found to have possessed child pornography. The final number ended up being 21.

Barr was asked Monday about whether the other trainees would face charges. He said that the ideological activity on social media didn’t trigger violation of federal statutes. The same was true with the “other cases” reviewed by the U.S. Attorney’s office, according to Barr in the press conference.

[Screengrab via PBS]

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