The Pentagon won’t say if terror is to blame in Friday’s deadly shooting at a Pensacola navy base by a Saudi Air Force lieutenant linked to anti-US Twitter screeds.
But the congressman whose district includes the Naval Air Station Pensacola said Saturday that the attack most certainly was an act of terror.
“This was not an act of workplace violence, this was not a random murder, this was an act of premeditated terrorism against our country and military on our soil,” tweeted Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz.
“I spoke with @POTUS late yesterday about the need for a more thorough review of the Saudi training and flight program,” he added.
Earlier Saturday, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told the Reagan National Defense Forum in California, “No, I can’t say it’s terrorism at this time. I think we need to let the investigators of the FBI do its work.”
Still, a Twitter account under the name of the shooter, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani — a second lieutenant who was getting aviation training at the base — included a last “will” that quoted Osama bin Laden, according to CNN.
Alshamrani and three fellow Saudi-nationals from the base also watched mass shooting videos during a dinner party in the days before the shooting, the Associated Press reported.
Saudi Arabia has handled with kid gloves despite its government being implicated in last year’s murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and despite it being implicated in multiple efforts to abet the 9/11 attacks.
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