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Saudi pilot who went on gun rampage at Florida naval base linked to ‘Al-Qaeda operative’ — RT USA News

Saudi pilot who went on gun rampage at Florida naval base linked to ‘Al-Qaeda operative’ — RT USA News

The FBI has reportedly found evidence linking the perpetrator of the December 2019 Pensacola naval airbase shooting, a trainee pilot of the Royal Saudi Air Force, to a suspected operative of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda.

The gun attack at the Naval Air Station Pensacola left three victims dead and eight others injured. The gunman, Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, was killed by responding police forces. The incident was a major embarrassment for both nations involved.

Several US media outlets reported on Monday that FBI investigators have discovered evidence on Alshamrani’s phone linking him to a suspected al-Qaida operative. The Department of Justice and the FBI are expected to make a public announcement about the investigation soon.

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The airman had been taking part in a three-year aviation training program for the Royal Saudi Air Force, for which he had signed up in August 2017. The 21-year-old was motivated by Islamist ideology when he unleashed violence at the Florida base, US officials said.

Prior to the shooting, he posted quotes from former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on social media, and criticized US wars. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, an influential branch of the international terrorist network, claimed credit for the attack, but US officials did not previously confirm the link.

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