An outspoken critic of radical Islam is asking why Saudi nationals, including the air force pilot who shot and wounded American citizens last week, were allowed to undergo flight training in the United States.
The Dec. 6 attack at the Pensacola Naval Air Station was carried out by Mohammed Alshamrani, a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force, who killed two people and wounded eight others before he was shot and killed.
According to USA Today, Alshamarani posted anti-U.S. messages on Twitter hours before the shooting, and Dealine.com reported that other Saudis on the base allegedly filmed the shooting and went missing.
Laurie Cardoza-Moore, president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, asks if the United States has forgotten about the 9/11 attacks.
“Think about it. It was nineteen Saudi nationals who were training in Florida how to fly airplanes into buildings,” she says. “What are we doing allowing a Saudi national from a nation that has a history of anti-American sentiment?”
National defense analyst Kirk Lippold, a retired U.S. Navy commander, says the Pengaton must do a better job of vetting who comes into the country.
“I think it has to be looked at,” he says, “because we don't want to have more Americans die at the hands of foreign nationals that are here in our country as our guests."
Alshamarani was one of 852 Saudis and 5,180 foreigners who are currently in the United States for military training, USA Today reported. The 21-year-old Saudi began a three-year course in 2017.