FBI identifies links between shooter at Pensacola base and al-Qaida

FBI identifies links between shooter at Pensacola base and al-Qaida
Source: Kyle Grantham/ NYTimes

On Monday, United States officials revealed that Gunman Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani had repeatedly communicated with al-Qaida operatives leading up to the December 6 attack last year.

Alshamrani opened fire on the US naval base in Pensacola in Florida, and killed three US Navy sailors and injured eight others.

He was later shot and killed by sheriff deputies on the scene.

The announcement comes after the Federal Bureau of Investigation successfully broke into the two cellphones that had previously been locked and that the shooter had tried to destroy before he was killed by law enforcement.

“We now have a clearer understanding of Alshamrani’s associations and activities in the years, months and days leading up to his attack,” said US Attorney General William Barr on Monday.

Barr also chastised Apple Inc.’s refusal to cooperate with the FBI during the investigation.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer refused to comply with the FBI’s investigation and help unlock two of the shooter’s phones, even going to court to assert the company’s need to protect civil liberties.

In an internal email, he said the “data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people” was at stake.

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