PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz confirmed 12 of the 21 Saudi trainees who were disenrolled and sent home to Saudi Arabia were stationed at NAS Pensacola.
His office sent out the following statement:
“It has been clear to me throughout this investigation that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wants to root out any elements of extremism and inappropriate behavior with their students in the United States. I can confirm that 12 of the 21 Saudi trainees who were disenrolled and sent home were stationed at NAS Pensacola. While I don’t know precisely what will happen to those students who were disenrolled, I highly doubt they will receive a hero’s welcome when they return home to Saudi Arabia.” -Congressman Matt Gaetz
The U.S. sent home 21 Saudi military students following an investigation into a deadly shooting last month by one of their fellow trainees at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, an attack that Attorney General William Barr said was an act of terrorism driven by some of the same motivations of the Sept. 11 plot.
The Associated Press reports trainees who were removed had jihadist or anti-American sentiments on social media pages or had “contact with child pornography,” including in internet chat rooms, officials said. None are accused of having had advance knowledge of the shooting or helped the 21-year-old gunman carry it out.
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