U.S. Attorney General William Barr as just announced that the Saudi terrorist who shot and killed three U.S. servicemen at NAS Pensacola, had direct ties to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and had planned his attack before he even arrived in the U.S.
Barr said that the two phones terrorist Mohammad Saeed Alshmarani tried to destroy were able to be opened up by the FBI, offering law enforcement a treasure trove of information and insight into the depth of Alshmarani’s involvement with Al Qaeda.
Apple, which manufactured the phones, refused to help the U.S. unlock the phones.
“The phones establish significant ties to Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula,” said Barr
FBI Director Christopher Ray added that because of the “skill and determination” by FBI agents, the Bureau was able to successfully access the terrorist’s two phones, and put that information discovered “to good use.”
“Pensacola attack was the brutal culmination” of events and planning by the AQAP associate that went as far back as 2015.
Wray also said that Alshmarani took “pocket cam videos” to case the classroom where he committed the terrorist act, and as a result of the information gathered from the phones, authorities found out that Alshmarani “wasn’t just coordinating with them (AQAP), he worked to maximize his murders.
Mohammad Saeed Alshmarani, a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force shot and killed three U.S. navy sailors — Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, Airman Mohammed Haitham, 19, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Walters, 21 — and wounded at least eight others at the Naval Air Station Pensacola. Escambia County Sheriffs were able to shoot and kill Alshamrani.