U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Saturday he still plans to shift the American military's focus to competing with China and Russian Federation, even as security threats pile up in the Middle East. "Praying for the victims & their families & we commend the first responders for their swift action in taking down the shooter & getting those on base to safety", Vice President Mike Pence tweeted. Alshamrani, who was killed in the attack at a classroom building Friday, was undergoing flight training at Pensacola, where members of foreign militaries routinely receive instruction.
He later added that Saudi Arabia's King Salman expressed "sincere condolences" to the people of the US.
Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said the suspect had been scheduled to complete a three-year U.S. Air Force Foreign Military Sales training program, funded by Saudi Arabia, in August.
The deadly shooting at a Navy base at Pensacola, Florida, on Friday by a Saudi Air Force officer could complicate U.S. -Saudi military relations, although Esper said Friday that relations remain strong.
"I can't say it's terrorism at this time", he said at the Ronald Reagan National Defense Forum in California.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he has instructed the armed forces to review both security at military bases and screening for foreign soldiers who come to the United States for training after a shooting in Florida.
Earlier Friday, two US officials identified the student as a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force. Two officers were shot in the limbs but are expected to recover. The Navy identified the three victims Saturday night. Alshamrani was a flight student at Pensacola, where members of foreign militaries are routinely trained by the U.S.
"Joshua Kaleb Watson saved countless lives today with his own", his older brother, Adam Watson, wrote on Facebook.
© Provided by Associated Press This undated photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, from St. Petersburg, Fla. "May you rest in heaven (We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return)". "They are devastated by what took place in Pensacola and I think they're going to help out the families very greatly", he said.
What has Saudi Arabia said?He said his nephew "has his religion, his prayer, his honesty and commitments".
The SITE Intelligence Group cited a Twitter account with a name matching the gunman that had posted a "will" calling the United States a "nation of evil" and criticising its support for Israel, the New York Times said. It contained posts criticizing USA foreign policy and quoting former al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, per the Times. Additionally, a Twitter page believed to belong to the suspect but that has since been suspended was reportedly filled with anti-American posts and Osama bin Laden quotes. Three people were killed in the shooting, and eight were wounded, including two sheriff's deputies.
"But there's something really bad here", Graham said.
On Wednesday, a sailor whose submarine was docked at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, opened fire on three civilian employees at the USA base, killing two before taking his own life.
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