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U.S. calls shooting by Saudi officer in Florida ‘act of terrorism’

Twenty-one Saudi military cadets undergoing U.S. training will be ousted following an investigation into the fatal shooting of three Americans by a Saudi officer at a Florida naval base that U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Monday (January 13) branded an act of terrorism.

The Dec. 6 attack brought fresh complications to U.S.-Saudi relations at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival. A deputy sheriff shot dead the gunman, Saudi Air Force Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, in the Pensacola, Florida, incident.

Barr said 21 Saudi cadets were “disenrolled from their training curriculum” in the U.S. military and would leave the United States later on Monday after an investigation showed they either had child pornography or social media accounts containing Islamic extremist or anti-American content.

During a news conference, Barr – the top U.S. law enforcement official – said there was no evidence of assistance by other Saudi trainees or that any of them had knowledge in advance of the attack.

(Production: Temis Tormo)

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