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No Surprise: Investigation Turns Up 'Significant Ties' Between al Qaeda And Pensacola Terrorist

Pensacola Shooter
The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant alerted us to a Monday virtual news conference featuring Attorney General Bill Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray detailing developments in the post-attack investigation of last year’s terrorist attack at Florida’s Pensacola Naval Air Station.

It will surprise no one who follows such matters that the FBI discovered Mohammed Alshamrani, the gunman who opened fire at the naval station last December had “significant ties” to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Attorney General Barr said the evidence was uncovered after the FBI unlocked two iPhones belonging to Alshamrani, and “The phones contained information previously unknown to us that definitively establishes Alshamrani’s significant ties to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, not only before the attack but before he even arrived in the United States.”

Ms. Chalfant reports officials were cautious about detailing the new information obtained from the phones, saying the investigation was ongoing. FBI Director Christopher Wray told reporters that the evidence showed Alshamrani was “more than just inspired” by AQAP.

“It is certainly more than just inspired. We know, for example, that he was sharing plans and tactics for them. We know that he was coordinating with them and providing them with an opportunity to take credit for the attack,” Wray said when asked whether the shooter was inspired or directed by the terror group.

According to Ms. Chalfant’s reporting, Wray said that the evidence showed Alshamrani had been radicalized “at least as far back as 2015” and had been connecting and associating with AQAP operatives since, including conferring with them up until the date of the attack.

“We have more to learn but we have enough now to see Alshamrani for what he was — a determined AQAP terrorist who spent years preparing to attack us,” Wray said. “We now have a picture of him we didn’t have before we obtained this evidence.”

Following the shooting, the Pentagon ordered a review of the policies and procedures that guide officials who screen international military students before being allowed into the U.S. to train. In January 2020 nearly two dozen Saudi Arabian military cadets who were training on American bases were removed from the programs and being sent home in the wake of the December terrorist attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

The Navy Times reported on January 13, 2020 that of the 21 being removed, investigators found 17 had posted anti-American or “jihadi” content on social media and 15 had had contact with child pornography, mostly via a chat room in which one or two images had been posted.

At that time Mr. Barr said none of the content rose to the level of federal prosecution and added that the Saudi government found the material unbecoming for its officers and would assist in the event of additional investigatory needs. Of those being removed, 12 came from Pensacola while the other nine were located at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi, Laughlin and Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Air Force bases in Texas and Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

The Navy Times also reported that investigators had already discovered in the year and a half before the shooting, Alshamrani left a social media trail that indicated he’d been influenced by “jihadist ideology" and believed violence was necessary to defend Muslim countries. He also posted a message containing anti-American and anti-Israeli comments two hours before the attack as well as another that raised concern.

However, the investigation into Alshamrani’s terrorist attack didn’t end the training of Saudi nationals at Pensacola. On February 25, 2020 the Navy released a statement saying in part:

Saudi Arabian International Military Students (IMS) resumed flight training yesterday, Feb. 25, 2020, after the Navy satisfied the requirements set forth by the Secretary of Defense. Updates to Navy policy include a new regulation prohibiting the possession of personally owned firearms by IMS, limiting access by all foreign nationals to assigned facilities and installations only, and requiring IMS to accept these policies to train in the United States. The Navy also developed a policy for the continuous review of IMS, to be implemented by March 13, 2020.

The Alshamrani terrorist attack on Pensacola, and the history of insider Muslim attacks on American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan begs the question why wasn’t there a “policy for the continuous review” of Saudi Arabian International Military Students before Ens. Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham and Airmen Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed?

We all know the answer; the U.S. government, even under President Trump, is so politically correct it loathes to admit that Islam isn’t a religion, it’s a totalitarian political system and that Muslims are an inherent security risk because of their fundamental opposition to our values and constitutional liberty.

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We still dance around islam as if it were a real religion. As stated in this article the differences between western values and that of the islam that was brought to life by a child molester in the 16th century cannot exist together. Everyone tries to 'whitewash' the differences. Islam is very violent and that fact is proven with every beheading, torture and the murder of non-believers. We will one day pay the price for being ignorant of the true intent of islam.