Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 2 December 2020

Saudi Arabia: co-ordination with US is vital to curb terrorism

FBI finds US naval base attack linked to Al Qaeda

Royal Saudi Air Force 2nd Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Al Shamrani’s photo on an undated military ID card. FBI via AP  
Royal Saudi Air Force 2nd Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Al Shamrani’s photo on an undated military ID card. FBI via AP  

Saudi Arabia-US co-ordination on terrorism is the best way to keep both nations safe, the kingdom said this week, after an FBI investigation found an Al Qaeda link to a naval base shooting in Florida.

A trainee of the Royal Saudi Air Force killed three American sailors in the December attack. The shooter’s phone revealed his links to the terror group, the FBI and Department of Justice said.

“The US-Saudi partnership is one of the primary pillars of the global effort to dismantle and defeat terrorist networks such as AQAP,” a statement by the kingdom's embassy in Washington DC said.

"Our two countries will maintain our unbreakable commitment to combat the forces of evil, wherever they exist," it said.

US authorities killed the gunman, Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Al Shamrani, after jhe shot 11 people.

Prior to the shooting, Al Shamrani posted criticism of US interventions abroad and quoted Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on social media.

The FBI believes that he was radicalised before arriving to Florida for a three-year aviation course the US navy hosts for foreign servicemen.

The embassy said that 28,000 Saudis have undergone military training in the US during the last few decades.

“Saudi Arabia has fully co-operated with US law enforcement on the investigation, and we are continuing to provide full support to our American counterparts,” said the statement.

The kingdom "will continue to use every means at our disposal to counter the men, mindset and money of terrorism that enables AQAP and others to recruit followers and threaten communities, or even entire nations,” said the statement.

"We will never let the terrorists win, or allow their acts of hatred to divide us."

The statement said that the kingdom’s military personnel, citizens and its holiest cities of Makkah and Madina have come under terror attacks.

The embassy in Washington DC said it "reiterates its sincerest condolences to the American people".

Updated: May 20, 2020 03:27 PM

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