The Saudi who killed three people at the Pensacola naval base apparently turned to Twitter before the shooting to criticize Washington’s support for Israel and accuse the United States of being anti-Muslim, an American official said Sunday, while The FBI confirmed that it is operating on the assumption that the attack was a terrorist act.
Investigators also try to determine whether the assassin, second lieutenant Mohammed Alshamrani, 21, a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force, acted alone.
Alshamrani, who was shot dead on Friday in the attack on a classroom building, received training to fly in Pensacola, where members of foreign armies usually take courses.
“We are, as we usually do in most investigations where there is an active armed man, working with the presumption that this was a terrorist act,” said Rachel L. Rojas, FBI agent in charge.
Authorities believe the attacker criticized the United States on social media with a username similar to his name, but law enforcement officials are investigating whether he is the author of the words or only published them, said the official, who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it lacks authorization to testify on the matter.
Investigators also believe that the aggressor visited New York City, including the Rockefeller Center, days before the shooting, and work to determine what the purpose of that trip was, the official added.
It has already been verified that all foreign students at Pensacola base are alive, no arrests have been made and the community is not under imminent threat, Rojas said at a press conference. A Saudi officer ordered all students in the country to remain at a base site, authorities said.
Amanda Perry is a reporter for News Trawler. She previously worked at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Amanda is based in Seattle and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe coffee addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.