The Attorney General and FBI’s deputy director on Monday will announce the findings of the criminal investigation of the December 6 shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Station that left three US service members dead.
The Florida shooting was carried out by a Saudi national, Second Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani, who was in the United States taking part in a military fighter training program. He was killed in the incident.
As CNN first reported Saturday, the Justice Department is expected to conclude that the Pensacola shooting was in fact an act of terrorism, according to a US official.
No co-conspirators have been charged as part of the investigation, and the Saudi government has pledged its full support.
More than a dozen Saudi servicemen training at US military installations will be expelled from the US after a review that followed the shooting, multiple sources told CNN.
The Saudis are not accused of aiding the 21-year-old Saudi Air Force second lieutenant who carried out the shooting, two sources said, but some are said to have connections to extremist movements, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday that in the shooting’s wake the Justice Department “has taken a number of steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. I’ve signed out directives that address enhanced screening of all our foreign students that address credentialing going forward, weapons policies, etc. So we’re doing everything we can. The investigation is being conducted by DOJ and FBI.”
“I think we are being very careful. Obviously, Pensacola showed that there have been errors in the way that we’ve vetted, and I think out of an abundance of caution, (Defense) Secretary Esper is taking these actions to protect our servicemen and women,” national security adviser Robert O’Brien said on “Fox News Sunday.”
A number of Saudi servicemen are also accused of possessing child pornography, according to a defense official and the person familiar with the situation. Spokespeople for the FBI and Justice Department declined to comment.
About a dozen Saudi trainees at the Pensacola base had been confined to their quarters as the FBI investigated the shooting as a potential terror attack, and the Pentagon initiated a review of all Saudi military trainees in the country, numbering around 850 students.