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U.S. To Expel 21 Saudi Military Personnel After Florida Killings


FBI Evidence Response Team on site after the shooting incident at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida.

Twenty-one Saudi military cadets undergoing training in the United States are being sent home following an investigation into last month's fatal shooting of three Americans by a Saudi officer at a Florida naval base -- an attack that U.S. Attorney General William Barr on January 13 said was an act of terrorism.

A deputy sheriff killed the gunman, Saudi Air Force Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, in the December 6 incident at the Pensacola base.

Barr said there was no evidence of assistance by other Saudi trainees or that any of them had advance knowledge of the attack.

During a news conference, Barr, the top U.S. law enforcement official, said 21 Saudi cadets were "disenrolled from their training curriculum" in the U.S. military and would leave the United States later on January 13 after an investigation showed they either had child pornography or social media accounts containing Islamic extremist or anti-American content.

"This was an act of terrorism," Barr said. "The evidence showed that the shooter was motivated by jihadist ideology."

Saudi Arabia provided "complete and total support" to the American investigation of the incident, Barr said.

The attack came at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional rival.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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