Saudi servicemen booted from US after terror attack at naval station

Some of the expelled Saudi servicemen have connections to extremist movements, according to a CNN report.

By World Israel News Staff 

Following a deadly shooting last month at a naval air station in Pensacola, Florida, more than a dozen Saudi servicemen training at U.S. military installations are to be expelled from the United States, reports CNN, citing multiple sources.

“The Saudis are not accused of aiding the 21-year-old Saudi Air Force second lieutenant who killed three American sailors in the December shooting,” CNN reported in the name of two sources, “but some are said to have connections to extremist movements, according to a person familiar with the situation.”

“In the wake of the Pensacola tragedy, the Department of Defense restricted to classroom training programs foreign military students from Saudi Arabia while we conducted a review and enhancement of our foreign student vetting procedures,” said Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a Defense Department spokesman.

“That training pause is still in place while we implement new screening and security measures,” he added.

The Saudi student who carried out the attack was said to have hosted a dinner party earlier in the week where he and three others watched videos of mass shootings.

The shooter had opened fire inside a classroom at the naval base.

“About a dozen Saudi trainees at the Pensacola base had been confined to their quarters as the FBI investigated the shooting as a potential terror attack, and the Pentagon initiated a review of all Saudi military trainees in the country, numbering around 850 students,” said the report on the U.S. network.

The report cited a U.S. official as saying that “the Justice Department is expected to conclude that the Pensacola shooting was in fact an act of terrorism.”

The Saudi government reportedly has pledged its full support.