Families of victims who were killed in 2019 by a Saudi lieutenant at a military base in Florida, USA, have filed a lawsuit against the kingdom over its presumed responsibility for the terrorist attack, attorneys for the plaintiffs announced Monday.
The attorneys explained that their clients consider it not possible that the kingdom did not know that Lieutenant Muhammad Al-Shamrani was an extremist.
On December 6, this 21-year-old trained officer fired a pistol at American soldiers during a semester at the US Naval Base in Pensacola, killing three people and wounding eight others before he was shot dead by police. .
The lawyers said in a statement that Al-Shamrani “was supposed to undergo a comprehensive investigation when he joined the Saudi Royal Air Force, and that day, Saudi Arabia was aware of his extremism and his anti-Americanism, feelings that were publicly expressed on an account in his name on Twitter.”
The statement added that after joining the army in 2015, Al-Shamrani regularly promoted a “radical fundamentalist ideology” on social media. The statement pointed out that this account was being watched by Saudi citizens, members of the government, and members of the air force, and that they “read and commented on the extremist messages” that this soldier posted.
In their statement, the attorneys stressed that this officer, despite his letters, was chosen from among hundreds of Military Academy students to obtain a scholarship to participate in a training course in the United States, and his nomination was sent to the chain of command in the Ministry Saudi Defense.
The lawyers also considered that King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, “refused to fulfill their promise” to the families of the victims after then-President Donald Trump reassured these families that they would “take care” of them.
The Kingdom, a close ally of Washington, was quick to distance itself from Al-Shamrani, affirming its condemnation of the “heinous crime” he committed.
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