The United States says it is sending 21 Saudi military cadets back to the kingdom after its probe finds last month’s fatal shooting by a Saudi officer as an “act of terrorism.”
Attorney General William Barr said on Monday the evidence shows the shooter was motivated by extremist ideology.
Barr also said that 21 Saudi cadets have been expelled following an investigation into the fatal shooting and will be sent home.
He added that the military trainees possessed child pornography and other extremist materials.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia determined that this material demonstrated conduct unbecoming an officer in the Saudi Royal Air Force and Royal Navy and the 21 cadets have been dis-enrolled from their training curriculum in the US military and will be returning to Saudi Arabia later today,” Barr said.
He said that the “evidence shows that the shooter was motivated” by extremist ideology.
Last December, second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani killed three American sailors and wounded eight other people at the Pensacola Naval Air Station before being shot dead by police.
Following the deadly shooting, US President Donald Trump’s Republican allies condemned the attack as an act of terrorism, and called for a halt to the training program that admitted the shooter and called on the Saudi government to cooperate in the investigation, according to The Washington Post.
But Trump used his appearances before television cameras and on social media to repeatedly offer cover for the Saudis.
Hours after the incident, Trump announced that Saudi King Salman had personally called him and then began reading a statement conveying the “sincere condolences” of the Saudi king.
“The king said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter and that this person, in no way, shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people so much,” Trump said, repeating language posted to his Twitter account around the same time.