See Nothing, Say Nothing: Journalists Who Reported on Pensacola Base Saudi Shooter’s Motives Suspended on Twitter
RT, December 9, 2019
With the feds tight-lipped on Pensacola naval base shooter Mohammed Alshamrami’s motives, those digging into his social media history have been suspended, as Twitter scrubbed his anti-American messages over “promoting extremism.”
Mohammed Alshamrami has been named as the gunman who opened fire on his classmates at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday, killing three people and wounding eight. Alshamrani was a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force and had been studying at the naval base along with a cohort of his fellow Saudi students.
The FBI is working “with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism,” Special Agent Rachel Rojas told reporters on Sunday – but she added that the agency is not ready to comment on his motives, on rumors that his friend video-recorded the attack, on allegations he’d shown friends videos of mass shootings at a dinner party, or on a purported screed of anti-American, anti-Israel posts he’d made to social media immediately before the attack.
But this wasn’t the end of it. Over the weekend, Twitter began suspending users for linking to the shooter’s alleged manifesto, including such right-wing influencers as pundit Mike Cernovich and journalists Andy Ngo and Pete Hegseth.
Earlier today the Saudi terrorist tweeted out his motivation for today’s attack.
I posted a screen cap of the tweet, because this information is clearly newsworthy.
Twitter forced me to delete the delete. pic.twitter.com/sYx9cmHvlr
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) December 7, 2019
I was suspended (again). Twitter determined I had violated its rules by sharing screenshots of the Saudi jihadist’s last tweet before his rampage in Pensacola. https://t.co/iUFPPurupY
— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) December 9, 2019
All three have since had their accounts reinstated, but the offending tweets – which Twitter claims violate its ban on promoting “terrorism or violent extremism” – have been wiped from the platform. Likewise, an account believed to belong to Alshamrani was removed immediately after the attack, with Twitter confirming the removal but telling CNN “that’s all we have to share.”
According to monitoring organization SITE Intelligence Group, Alshamrani declared: “I hate you [Americans] because every day you [support] funding and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity.”
Alshamrani’s Twitter account was created in 2012. With the account deleted and any mention of SITE’s reporting on his motives banned from discussion, what do journalists have to go on?
Nothing, for now. In her press conference on Sunday, Special Agent Rojas refused to take questions from the media on any of the rumors surrounding Alshamrani’s history or possible terrorist motivation. Citing a need to “control misinformation,” Rojas made it clear that the FBI will only reveal information that it has thoroughly vetted first, and asked the media to keep quiet until then.