By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government will announce “actions” on Monday along with results of a Justice Department criminal investigation into the December shootings at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida that killed three U.S. service members and wounded eight other Americans, an official told Reuters.
Several news outlets, including CNN, Washington Post and the Associated Press, reported that more than a dozen Saudi servicemen who are training at U.S. military bases will be expelled from the United States.
Attorney General William Barr and FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich will make an announcement at a press conference Monday. The U.S. official told Reuters the government will disclose some “actions” in connection with the probe, but declined to elaborate.
The Saudi personnel being expelled are not accused of aiding the Saudi Air Force second lieutenant who killed three American sailors at the Pensacola installation, CNN reported, quoting unnamed sources. The Washington Post said the probe found connections to “extremist rhetoric, possession of child pornography and a failure by a small number of people to report alarming behavior by the gunman” in the attacks.
The FBI, Justice Department and National Security Council declined to comment. The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he has signed “directives that address enhanced screening of all of our foreign students that address credentialing going forward, weapons policies.”
National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told “Fox News Sunday” the shooting “showed that there had been errors in the way that we vetted.”
On Dec. 10, the Pentagon announced it was halting operational training of all Saudi Arabian military personnel in the United States after the incident. On Dec. 19, the Pentagon announced that it found no threat in its review of about 850 military students from Saudi Arabia studying in the United States.
The FBI has said U.S. investigators believe Saudi Air Force Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, 21, acted alone in the incident before he was fatally shot by a deputy sheriff.
(Reporting by David Shepardson)