While details are still forthcoming in the weekend attack at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in Texas, preliminary reports show the attacker most likely was a supporter of Salafi-jihadist ideology.
Twenty-year-old Adam Alsahli was killed after he accelerated the vehicle he was driving towards the gate of the naval station early Thursday morning, crashed into the barrier and began shooting.
Alsahli hit a member of the station’s security force, however she was protected by a bulletproof vest and sustained minor injuries. She was knocked to the ground but was able to roll over and hit a switch that raised a barrier, preventing Alsahli from entering the base. Other sailors then responded, shooting Alsahli.
No bombs were found in Alsahli’s vehicle or on his body.
A source quoted by News Channel 3 indicated that officials identified several social media accounts most likely connected to Alsahli. Postings in these accounts expressed support for ISIS and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The FBI declared the shooting “terrorism-related.”
The shooter, who was born in Syria, was a resident of Corpus Christi and a U.S. citizen. He was conferred citizenship at age three through his father, who had become a naturalized citizen in 1984.
Alsahli moved to the U.S. with his mother and possible other siblings in 2014 at the height of the Syrian civil war. His mother is currently a legal permanent resident who has applied for citizenship and whose case is currently pending.
The attack follows the announcement last week by the U.S. Justice Department and FBI that the Islamist terrorist who attacked the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida in December 2019 was connected to al-Qaeda and had planned the attack for years before coming to the U.S.
Mohammed Alshamrani, who killed three and injured eight in the shooting attack in Pensacola, was a Saudi national studying at the Naval Air Station.
The disclosure was made possible after federal technicians were able to unlock Alshamrani’s two iPhones after months of failed attempts. Apple refused to open Alshamrani’s phones for U.S. law enforcement agencies.
In addition, a report was released last week by the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Center on Extremism that showed there was a 50 percent increase in domestic Islamist extremism in 2019. Of the 30 arrests made in 2019, nine were for plotting Islamist terror attacks.
In the current case in Corpus Christi, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.