Thursday, February 25, 2021

The most powerful Arab oil man dies at the age of 90


The families of the victims who were killed in 2019 by the bullets of a Saudi lieutenant at a military base in Florida, USA, have filed a lawsuit against the kingdom over allegations that it was responsible for the attack, attorneys for the plaintiffs announced, Monday, to AFP.

The lawyers explained that their clients consider that “it is not possible that the Kingdom did not know that Lieutenant Muhammad Al-Shamrani was an extremist,” according to the agency quoted.

This trained officer, who was 21 at the time, fired on the sixth of December with 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, the Kingdom of 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 lawyers 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 candidacy was “sent to the chain of command” at the Saudi Ministry of 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, Washington’s close ally, was quick to distance itself from Al-Shamrani, confirming its condemnation of the “heinous crime” he committed.

But the FBI concluded that the Saudi military had become an extremist since at least 2015, and that his attack was “the result of years of planning and preparation.”

The attack was claimed by the “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” organization, which remained in contact with Al-Shamrani until the eve of the attack.

For some experts, that attack was the first to be carried out closely with Al-Qaeda on American soil since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Following the attack, the United States expelled from its territory 21 trained Saudi soldiers after an investigation revealed that they had posted “offensive content” or “extremist or anti-American content” on social networks, or found in their possession pornographic materials that included sexual exploitation of children.



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