by Aurora Ceccotti
On the 6th of December, a deadly shooting took place in Pensacola, Florida. In the military base, the Saudi gunman Mohammed Al-Shamrani killed 3 people before being shot dead.
The Pensacola military base hosts several Saudi soldiers; in general, the US counts 16% of Saudi training soldiers in military schools.
Al-Shamrnani, a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force, was quoted by the SITE Intelligence group as saying to be “against evil and America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil. I hate you because every day you [are] supporting, funding and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity,”.
This event represents a dichotomy between the close business relationship Saudi Arabia and the US have and events that make this cooperation dubious, such as but not limited to the Khashoggi murder and the Saudi military offensive in Yemen (BBC, 2019).
Donald Trump tweeted his condolences for the victims and mentioned a call with King King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who allegedly said that “this person in no way, shape, or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people” (Aljazeera, 2019).
- Should this shooting be defined as a terrorist attack?
- Is Trump using a double standard in the definition of this attack, being particularly cautious to preserve a strong relation with Saudi Arabia?