Pensacola shooter linked to al-Qaeda
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 5/18/20, 01:45 pm
Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani communicated with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in the months leading up to his shooting rampage at a Florida military base that killed three American sailors. U.S. officials said Monday that the Saudi air force officer had been radicalized for at least five years and meticulously planned his Dec. 6, 2019, attack on Naval Air Station Pensacola.
How did the FBI get this new information? The agency broke the encryption on cellphones that Alshamrani tried to destroy before sheriff’s deputies killed him in a shootout. The agents found contact between Alshamrani and al-Qaeda operatives, along with a will explaining his motive that matched a document al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula released taking responsibility for the attack. U.S. Attorney General William Barr criticized the tech company Apple for not helping the FBI unlock the phones.
Dig deeper: Read Mindy Belz’s report on the attack in Globe Trot.
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