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8 Dec, 2019 17:43

FBI presumes Pensacola shooting an act of terrorism as probe continues

FBI presumes Pensacola shooting an act of terrorism as probe continues

The FBI has confirmed that it is presuming Friday’s fatal shooting at a naval base in Florida was an “act of terrorism.” However, the agency has not yet confirmed the killer’s motivations, or whether he was a member of a network.

The FBI is working “with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism,” Special Agent Rachel Rojas told a press conference on Sunday. Rojas added that this presumption was made to speed up the investigation, and help “identify and eliminate” any potential threats to the community if terrorism was indeed the killer’s motivation.

The killer was named by the agency on Saturday as Mohammed Alshamrani, a 21-year-old Saudi military student who had been training at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Alshamrani opened fire on classmates with a 9mm handgun on Friday, killing three and wounding eight. Rojas stated on Sunday that he had acquired the gun legally.

Three days into the investigation, Rojas revealed little else about Alshamrani, his beliefs, or his background. She did not confirm or deny media reports that the killer held a dinner party with friends days before the attack, during which guests watched videos of mass shootings, or allegations that one of his friends video recorded the attack.

Also on rt.com Pensacola shooter ‘held mass-shooting dinner party’ where fellow Saudi students watched disturbing videos – report

Rojas stated that Alshamrani’s associates are currently cooperating with the FBI’s investigation, and said that she would remain tight-lipped in order to “control misinformation.”

Naval Air Station Pensacola employs around 16,000 uniformed and 7,400 civilian personnel. The base was the scene of a massive law enforcement response on Friday, when Alshamrani shot and killed three people, and injured eight, including responders. Some of Alshamrani’s classmates intervened and attempted to stop the rampage, the Navy later revealed. Sheriff’s deputies shot the gunman dead.

Alshamrani was a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force, and was studying in the US, his training funded by the Saudi government. 

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