Posted on

FBI investigates Mohammed Alshamrani tweets

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Barely two hours before a Saudi aviation student went on a deadly shooting spree at Naval Air Station Pensacola, tweets purportedly written by the suspect railed against the United States for its support of Israel and for stationing troops at bases in Saudi Arabia. 

The FBI is working to confirm that tweets came from the Saudi military trainee.

The tweets were posted at 4:39 a.m. CT Friday with a profile photo resembling an overhead shot of NAS Pensacola. Around 6:30 a.m., the gunman fatally wounded three people at the Florida base before he was shot and killed by a local deputy sheriff.

The tweets are addressed to “O American people” and outline what the author said is a hatred of the United States for crimes against Muslims, including the detention of suspects in Guantanamo Bay. 

The FBI has not yet confirmed whether or not it’s investigating terrorism as a motive for the attack, but is expected to release more details about the shooter Saturday.  

Investigating Saudi student’s motive:What we know about the shooting at NAS Pensacola

Why was a Saudi national at a US Naval base?International training is part of NAS Pensacola’s mission

The shooter, identified by three sources as Mohammed Alshamrani, was one of 852 Saudi nationals in the United States training under the Pentagon’s security cooperation agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

An undisclosed number of people were being interviewed, according to people familiar with the matter. They cautioned that the inquiry was still in its early stages, declining to elaborate on whether any of those interviewed were considered as any more than witnesses.