The families of the victims of the attack by a Saudi soldier on a military base in Florida in 2019 have filed a complaint against Saudi Arabia for its alleged responsibility in the attack, their lawyers announced Monday.
For the plaintiffs, the Saudi kingdom could not ignore the radicalization of Second Lieutenant Mohammed al-Shamrani, 21, who opened fire on December 6 with a handgun in a classroom at the US Navy base. in Pensacola, killing three and wounding eight before being shot by police.
Shamrani “is believed to have been thoroughly investigated upon joining the Royal Saudi Air Force and, at that time, Saudi Arabia was aware of (his) radicalization and anti- Americans, who were publicly associated with a Twitter account in his name, ”the lawyers explain in a statement.
“Radical fundamentalist ideology”
After entering the army in 2015, he regularly propagated on social networks “a radical fundamentalist ideology”. He was followed by Saudi citizens, members of the government and the air force, “who have read and commented on the radical messages” from the military, they added.
Despite his messages, he had been chosen from among hundreds of military academy cadets for a scholarship to participate in training in the United States and “his appointment had been sent to the chain of command” of the United States. Saudi Ministry of Defense.
Lawyers also believe King Salman of Arabia and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, “refused to keep their promise” to the families of the victims after assuring then-US President Donald Trump that they ” would take care ”of these families.
Un crime «abominable»
Saudi Arabia, a close ally of Washington, was quick to distance itself from the gunman and condemned a “heinous” crime. But the FBI determined that the serviceman had been radicalized since at least 2015 and that his attack was “the result of years of planning and preparation.”
The shooting had been claimed by the Al-Qaeda group in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqpa), with whom the shooter had been in contact until the day before the attack. For some experts, the attack was the first carried out so closely with Al Qaeda on American soil since the attacks of September 11, 2001.
After this attack, Washington had announced the dismissal of 21 Saudi soldiers in training in the United States who had published “offensive content”, “jihadist or anti-American” on social networks, or had “pedophile” content.
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