Pensacola attack: US to review screening of foreign military


Airman Mohammad Sameh Haitham (left) and ensign Joshua Kaleb WatsonImage copyright US Navy
Image caption Mohammad Sameh Haitham and Joshua Kaleb Watson bear been two of three younger sailors killed

US Defence Secretary Label Esper has ordered a review of the screening direction of for foreign defense force in the US after a Saudi soldier launched a deadly assault at a Florida navy spoiled.

The gunman – who changed into as soon as practicing on the Pensacola space – killed three sailors on Friday.

Mr Esper instructed Fox News Sunday he had instructed top defence officers to sight into security measures at bases.

President Donald Trump has also pledged to search out out about foreign defense force programmes.

The victims of the assault bear been named as Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, and Cameron Scott Walters, 21.

The US Navy statedthe sailors “confirmed distinctive heroism and bravado in the face of rotten”.

Who has been detained?

Several Saudi trainees bear reportedly been held for questioning, despite the indisputable truth that thus a long way there changed into as soon as no impart that they bear been eager on the assault.

The gunman, Mohammed Alshamrani, changed into as soon as shot boring on the scene.

Alshamrani had played mass-shooting videos to others at a dinner earlier in the week, several US media shops narrative, quoting an anonymous genuine briefed on the investigation.

A Twitter user showing to match Alshamrani’s identity had also made a sequence of anti-US posts sooner than the shooting, an on-line monitoring neighborhood says.

Speaking to Fox News Sunday, Mr Esper confirmed experiences that one or two of the detained Saudis filmed the assault. “What’s unclear is – bear been they filming it sooner than it started or changed into as soon as it something the build they picked up their phones after they saw it unfolding?” he stated.

He previously stated he would no longer designate the incident “terrorism” while the investigation changed into as soon as in its early stages.

Why bear been Saudis on the US spoiled?

The Pensacola spoiled has lengthy supplied aviation practicing to foreign defense force forces.

Saudi pilots started practicing there in 1995, alongside diverse personnel from Italy, Singapore and Germany.

Cpt Kinsella Jnr stated that about 200 global college students bear been enrolled in programmes there. Primarily essentially based on its web space, the spoiled employs bigger than 16,000 defense force and 7,400 civilian personnel.

Alshamrani changed into as soon as a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Power.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The gunman has been formally named as Mohammed Alshamrani by the FBI

What came about on Friday?

Authorities bear been alerted to the shooting on the Pensacola spoiled at 06: 51 (11: 51 GMT).

It took position all the device in which by two floor of a study room constructing and ended when a sheriff’s deputy killed Alshamrani.

Eight of us bear been also injured in the shooting, including two officers, who are expected to build up better.

Family of Joshua Kaleb Watson stated he changed into as soon as shot several cases but made it out of the constructing to alert first responders.

On Fb, his brother Adam Watson wrote: “He died a hero and we are beyond proud but there’s a hole in our hearts that can certainly no longer be filled.”

Capt Tim Kinsella, the spoiled’s commanding officer, stated of the three sailors killed: “When confronted, they didn’t flee from hazard; they ran against it and saved lives.”

Saudi Arabia is a key US ally in the Middle East and President Trump stated the Saudi king known as him after the assault to “specific his real condolences and give his sympathies to the households and mates of the warriors who bear been killed”.

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Media captionFlorida governor: ‘The Saudi government will owe a debt here’

Questions over the US-Saudi relationship

Appropriate as he did in the wake of the smash of the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his country’s consulate in Istanbul, President Trump is calling for to minimize the importance of the Pensacola shooting.

For a president who largely sees foreign policy in transactional terms, Saudi Arabia is a extensive customer for the US. Billions of greenbacks in weapons gross sales interprets into bigger than 5,500 non permanent visas being issued to the Saudi defense force to attain wait on to the US. Saudi personnel upward push up about 16% of the foreign personnel being educated at US defense force faculties and diverse products and services. The Pensacola shooting is already raising questions regarding the vetting of these individuals.

Nonetheless extra broadly it as soon as extra highlights the lengthy-standing relationship between Washington and Riyadh – a relationship that many critics in Congress glance as an increasing number of uncertain in the wake of the Khashoggi smash and the Saudi defense force onslaught in Yemen.

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