FBI thinks Saudi shooter acted alone, Florida governor decries 'deep … – Reuters

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (Reuters) – Investigators imagine a Saudi Air Drive lieutenant acted alone when he killed three folks and wounded eight at a U.S. Navy base in Pensacola, Florida, earlier than being fatally shot by a deputy sheriff, the FBI stated on Sunday.
However they’ve but to find out a motive for the rampage, though fellow Saudi college students on the base who have been near the shooter are cooperating with investigators, stated Rachel Rojas, particular agent accountable for the FBI’s Jacksonville workplace and lead investigator on the case.
Rojas stated the FBI was working, because it does in most mass shootings, on the presumption that it was an act of terrorism, however she harassed that was largely to permit investigators to make use of particular instruments afforded to them in terrorism circumstances.
“We’re wanting very exhausting at uncovering his motive and I might ask for persistence so we will get this proper,” she stated, including that 80 FBI particular brokers, 100 assist workers and scores of different investigators from the Navy and a number of federal businesses have been working the case.
The FBI recognized the shooter as Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, 21, and stated he opened fireplace inside a classroom on the base early on Friday morning.
Rojas stated the pistol he used – a Glock 9mm handgun that may be paired with {a magazine} holding 33 rounds – was legally bought by the shooter someplace in Florida. In accordance with U.S. laws, it’s authorized for a foreigner in america on a nonimmigrant visa to purchase a gun if sure circumstances are met – together with in the event that they merely have a searching license.
Alshamrani was on the bottom as a part of a U.S. Navy coaching program designed to foster hyperlinks with overseas allies. He had began coaching in america in 2017 and had been within the Pensacola space for the previous 18 months, authorities stated.
His fellow Saudi college students have been talking straight with American investigators and have been restricted to the bottom on order of the Saudi navy, Rojas stated.
“I thank the dominion for his or her pledge of full and full cooperation,” she added.
U.S. President Donald Trump stated on Saturday that King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have been “devastated” by what passed off and pledged to assist households of the victims.
The Saudi crown prince known as Trump on Sunday to guarantee him Saudi authorities would provide their absolute cooperation with america and supply all data that will assist the investigations, the Saudi state information company reported.
However members of Congress representing Florida have blasted the U.S. authorities for not already labeling the taking pictures as a terrorist assault and have demanded extra particulars about what the Saudi authorities is doing to assist the investigation and forestall future violence by members of its navy.
The assault comes because the Trump administration has maintained heat ties with Riyadh amid Saudi involvement within the battle in Yemen, excessive tensions with Center East rival Iran, and continued political fallout from the killing of Washington Submit journalist Jamal Khashoggi final yr at a Saudi consulate in Turkey.
A gaggle that tracks on-line extremism has stated Alshamrani appeared to have posted criticism of U.S. wars in predominantly Muslim nations and quoted slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden on Twitter hours earlier than the taking pictures spree.
In English, he additionally wrote that he hated the American folks for “committing crimes not solely towards Muslims but additionally humanity,” and he criticized Washington’s assist for Israel, based on evaluation by the SITE Intelligence Group.
Reuters has not verified the authenticity of the account, @M&MD_SHAMRANI, which was suspended by Twitter on Friday.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, talking at a Sunday afternoon press convention, answered “sure, sure” when requested if he thought-about the taking pictures an act of terrorism.
“There may be quite a lot of frustration in our state over this,” DeSantis stated. “You’ve got overseas navy personnel coming to our base. They shouldn’t be doing that in the event that they hate our nation.”
DeSantis stated Alshamrani took benefit of a “federal loophole” to purchase the gun he used, and he confirmed that the suspect, since arriving in america in 2017, made a return journey to Saudi Arabia and likewise not too long ago visited New York. The governor declined to present additional particulars.
“He had a deep-seated hatred for america,” DeSantis stated. “For us to be bringing in these overseas nationals, you need to take precautions. Bringing in folks from Saudi Arabia – we should be on guard towards that.”
Alshamrani was one among about 200 foreigners on the Pensacola base and 1000’s round america who take part in navy coaching, a program that U.S. Protection Secretary Mark Esper stated was “crucial to our nationwide safety.”
Esper informed “Fox Information Sunday” that he had requested high protection officers to ensure all obligatory precautions have been taken to make sure security at navy installations, and that he requested the Pentagon to evaluation screening procedures for navy personnel from different nations coming to america for coaching.
These personnel have been already screened by the departments of State, Protection and Homeland Safety, Esper stated.
Reporting by Brad Brooks; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Enhancing by Daniel Wallis
Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
All quotes delayed a minimal of quarter-hour. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.



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