Aviation student, Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed al-Shamrani, 21, of Saudi Air Force killed three people and injured 12 when he opened fire at Navy Station Pensacola on Friday
The dead aviators were identified as dead were identified Saturday as Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, and Airmen Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21
Another Saudi student allegedly videotaped the attack, while two others watched from a nearby car
Authorities have now detained 10 Saudi students for questioning, a number revised up from six detained yesterday evening
Feds are still searching for ‘several’ other Saudis students who have not been seen since the attack
al-Shamrani hosted a dinner party on Thursday evening with three other Saudi students where they watched videos of mass shootings
He and fellow Saudi students also traveled to NYC in the days before the attack
The attack is being described as an act of terrorism
Shooter: 2nd Lt. Mohammed Saeed al-Shamrani [photo], was a member of the Saudi Royal Air Force on training at the U.S. naval station
According to one source, investigators are looking into the motive for the trip to the city and whether or not they met with anyone there.
Meanwhile, it’s been revealed that al-Shamrani used a handgun in the shooting, which he purchased from a dealer in Pensacola.
Non-citizens are prohibited from purchasing guns in the United States, unless they are equipped with a hunting license.
According to NBC, al-Shamrani exploited the loophole and his gun was indeed equipped with a hunting license.
Elsewhere, the FBI is examining social media posts and investigating whether al-Shamrani acted alone or was connected to any broader group.
al- Shamrani had a rather disturbing Twitter account and his pre-shooting ‘manifesto’
On Friday evening, the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist media, claimed they had tracked a Twitter account belonging to al- Shamrani which featured a disturbing manifesto written just hours before the shooting.
The now-deactivated Twitter account purportedly belonging to al- Shamrani included:
A variety of anti-Israel postings and a quote from deceased al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. – A lengthy manifesto posted at 4:39am Friday, less than two hours the shooting. The manifesto read in part: ‘I’m against evil, and America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil.
‘I’m not against you for just being American, I don’t hate you because [of] your freedoms, I hate you because every day you [are] supporting, funding and committing crimes not only against Muslims, but also humanity….
Investigators are working to determine if it was in fact written by the shooter.
Law enforcement sources say investigators believe the shooter returned to Saudi Arabia after starting his U.S. training in 2017, and when he returned in February, he stopped socializing and going out as much with the three friends.
The classroom block where Friday’s shooting occurred on the Naval Air Station Pensacola will remain closed until further notice, it was announced Saturday.
According to a Pentagon policy, foreign nationals who want to participate in the program are vetted for terrorist activity, drug trafficking, corruption and criminal conduct.
The shooting occurred around 6:50 a.m. in a two-floor classroom building at the naval base, which is on the Florida Panhandle about 13 miles from the Alabama border.
In addition to the three killed, eight were injured, including two Escambia County sheriff’s deputies who exchanged gunfire with the shooter. One deputy has been released from the hospital, and the other was recovering from surgery.
Friday’s shooting is the second incident this week at a U.S. Navy facility. On Wednesday, a U.S. sailor shot and killed two civilian DoD employees and wounded a third at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard in Hawaii before killing himself.