United States has expelled 21 Saudi military students after the deadly firearms attack on an American military base in Florida. During the investigation into the attack, jihadist material and child pornography were found, Attorney General William Barr said on Monday. The allegations are not sufficient for criminal prosecution. However, Saudi Arabia has decided that the behavior of prospective officers is inappropriate.
“The Saudi military students were advertised as part of their training program with the US Armed Forces and will return to Saudi Arabia on Monday”, said Barr. In none of the cases is support for the attack of December 6th or knowledge of the perpetrator’s plans.
A Saudi military student opened fire in a classroom building at Pensacola, Florida in December. He shot three American soldiers before he was killed in an exchange of fire with the police. “It was a terrorist attack”, Attorney General William Barr said on Monday. The attacker was driven by “jihadist ideology”.
In the course of the investigation, “Saudi jihadist or anti-American content” was found on 17 Saudi military students trained in the United States, Attorney General William Barr said. However, there was no evidence of belonging to or participating in terrorist groups or activities.
A total of 15 Saudi military students were found to have “contacts with child pornography”, William Barr said. While one of the military students had numerous such pictures, the others were only one or two.
The United States Department of Defense suspended practical training of Saudi Arabian soldiers after the attack in Florida military base. The United States and Saudi Arabia are working closely together militarily. Hundreds of Saudi military personnel are trained in the United States each year.