(JTA) — A military student from Saudi Arabia who killed three people during a shooting attack at a Navy flight school in Florida reportedly posted a message slamming the United States for supporting Israel.
The gunman in the Friday attack at the Naval Air Station Pensacola was identified as Ahmed Mohammed al-Shamrani, 21, a second lieutenant in the Saudi air force who was a student naval flight officer. His training with the U.S. military began in August 2017, and he was scheduled to finish in August 2020.
Shamrani hosted a dinner party earlier in the week where he and three other students watched videos of mass shootings, The Associated Press reported on Saturday, citing an unnamed U.S. official.
One of the three students who attended the party filmed the shooting from outside the classroom building where the shooting took place, the AP reported. Two other Saudi students reportedly watched the shooting from a nearby car.
A Twitter account bearing Shamrani’s name tweeted a message shortly before the shooting calling the U.S. a “nation of evil” for supporting Israel, according to SITE intelligence group, which tracks extremist activity, the Daily Beast reported. Another tweet reportedly quoted former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Florida Navy Shooter Called US Evil For Backing Israel