Posted on December 9, 2019

FBI Confirms Identity of Pensacola Shooter, US Navy Says Slain Sailors Confronted Him Before Demise

RT, December 8, 2019

Mohammed Alshamrani

Mohammed Alshamrani (Credit Image: Twitter / FBI Jacksonville)

The FBI has released a photo of the Saudi gunman who killed three people at a US naval base in Florida on Friday, formally identifying him as Mohammed Alshamrani and asking the public for tip-offs about his “activities.”

“The NAS Pensacola shooter is identified as Saudi national Mohammed Alshamrani,” the FBI field office in Jacksonville said in a statement on Twitter, accompanying it with a photo of the attacker that has been widely circulated on social media.

The US Navy also released the names of three sailors whose lives were claimed by the gunman as he went on a shooting rampage inside a classroom. All three victims were students of the Naval Aviation Schools Command.

The Navy said that the victims, identified as Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21, attempted to neutralize the shooter, noting that “if not for their actions, and the actions of the Naval Security Force that were the first responders on the scene, this incident could have been much worse.”

The FBI, which has been leading the investigation into the incident, said earlier that its Joint Task Force was involved in the process, but fell short of labeling the carnage a terrorist attack. “The shooter’s motivation is still being determined,” the FBI said on Saturday.

While the US government keeps mum about what could possibly have triggered the vicious attack, a manifesto attributed to the shooter by a private extremist activity monitor has been doing the rounds on social media. The manifesto eviscerates US foreign policy, taking aim specifically at American military interventions around the globe, while accusing Washington of waging a “war of attrition” on Muslims.

With the Pentagon and the White House remaining tight-lipped about the circumstances surrounding the attack, anonymous US officials have spilled the beans on what preceded the shooting spree. Before unleashing a deadly attack on the students, the Saudi trainee had reportedly held a dinner party with three other Saudi nationals where they watched videos of mass shootings, a US official told AP.

It has been reported that one of the gunman’s alleged co-conspirators filmed the scene of the shooting, while the two others watched the rampage unravel from inside a vehicle. It has also been reported that at least 10 Saudi nationals are being held for questioning at Naval Air Station Pensacola.