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US to Expel 21 Saudi Military Trainees

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Military personnel carry a transfer case for fallen service member, U.S. Navy Seaman Apprentice Cameron S. Walters, 21, during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base on December 8, 2019 in Dover, Delaware. Walters was one of three U.S. Navy sailors killed when a Saudi military trainee opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola on December 6, 2019 (Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Military personnel carry a transfer case for fallen service member, U.S. Navy Seaman Apprentice Cameron S. Walters, 21, during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base on December 8, 2019 in Dover, Delaware. Walters was one of three U.S. Navy sailors killed when a Saudi military trainee opened fire at Naval Air Station Pensacola on December 6, 2019 (Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Twenty-one Saudi military trainees in the U.S. will be expelled from the country following a review that was initiated after  the shooting attack carried out by a Saudi Air Force aviation student at the Pensacola Air Base last month, reported CNN.

Three servicemen were killed and eight wounded in that attack by Mohammed Alshamrani, 21, which is being called the act of a lone terrorist by the FBI and U.S. Attorney General William Barr. One of Alshamrani’s compatriots filmed the attack as it happened.

The Saudi military trainees that will be expelled are not accused of aiding Alshamrami, according to CNN’s sources, but some are said to have connections to extremist movements. Some were also reportedly found to be in possession of child pornography.

In the wake of the shooting, the Pentagon began a review of all 850 Saudi military trainees in the country. Alshamrami is expected to be charged with terrorism.

While the FBI investigated the shooting, close to 12 Saudi military trainees had been confined to their quarters.

“In the wake of the Pensacola tragedy, the Department of Defense restricted … classroom training programs [of] foreign military students from Saudi Arabia while we conducted a review and enhancement of our foreign student vetting procedures,” said Lt. Col. Robert Carver, a spokesman for the Department of Defense. “That training pause is still in place while we implement new screening and security measures.”

Editor’s Note: This article was updated January 14, 2020.

 

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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