Daily US Times, Washington: Dozens of Saudi servicemen training at US installations is about to expelled from the United States. Authorities took the decision after reviewing the deadly shooting last month at a Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.
CNN reported it first quoting multiple sources.
A 21-year-old Saudi Air Force second lieutenant killed three American sailors in the December shooting in Pensacola. The would-be expelled Saudis are not accused of aiding the attacker, but some are said to have connections to extremist movements.
The gunman has been recognized as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, 21, a Saudi national who was a naval pupil at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
It was later known that he had lodged an official complaint against one of his instructors.
According to a defense official and the person familiar with the situation, some are also accused of possessing child pornography. Both the Justice Department and FBI are yet to make a comment on the issue.
Following the attack at Pensacola, the Department of Defense conducted a review and enhancement of foreign student vetting procedures. Authorities also restricted Saudi students’ classroom training.
“That training pause is still in place while we implement new screening and security measures,” Lt. Col. Robert Carver said.
After the attack at Pensacola, about a dozen Saudi trainees had been confined at the base. FBI investigated the shooting as a potential terror attack, and the Pentagon initiated a review of all Saudi military trainees in the country. The total number of Saudi trainees getting military training in the US is around 850.
A US official said the Justice Department is expected to conclude that the Pensacola shooting was, in fact, an act of terrorism.