Saudi Airman May Have Become Radicalized Before U.S. Navy Base Attack

PENSACOLA, Fla. (Reuters) – The Saudi airman accused of killing three people at a U.S. Navy base in Florida appeared to have posted criticism of U.S. wars and quoted slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on social media hours before the shooting spree, according to a group that tracks online extremism.

…The young officer was reported to have played videos of mass shootings at a dinner earlier in the week with other Saudi aviation students, according to U.S. media reports on Saturday that cited an unnamed person briefed on the investigation.

…Six other Saudi nationals were being questioned by investigators in Florida, three of whom were seen filming the incident, the New York Times reported, citing an unidentified person briefed on the investigation.

…The younger Alshamrani appeared to have posted a justification of his planned attack in English on Twitter a few hours before it began, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online Islamist extremism.

He referred to U.S. wars in Muslim countries, writing that he hated the American people for “committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity,” and criticizing Washington’s support for Israel, SITE’s analysis said. He also quoted bin Laden, the Saudi mastermind of the attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, according to SITE.

Article URL : https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2019-12-07/saudi-suspect-in-us-navy-base-attack-linked-to-anti-us-twitter-screed

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