The man behind a shooting that killed three people at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida reportedly published a manifesto online before the incident, blasting US policies overseas, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
SITE, a private organization that monitors and tracks extremist groups’ online presence, published the text of the manifesto on Friday. While officials have yet to name the attacker, he was confirmed to be a Saudi military officer stationed at the naval air station for training. Posted on Twitter shortly before the gunman carried out the shooting, the manifesto attacked what it calls an American “war of attrition” waged on Muslims around the world, citing the US drone war and the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, where a number of terrorism suspects face indefinite detention.
“I’m not against you for just being American, I don’t hate you because your freedoms,” the post begins. “I hate you because every day you [support] funding and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity,» the manifesto, attributed to the attacker, read.
The document also takes aim at Washington’s unmatched defense spending which, the author argues, only provides “Americans a false sense of security,” warning that they won’t be “safe” until US troops withdraw from “our lands.”
Earlier on Friday, Fox News identified the shooter as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, citing anonymous officials, corroborating what conservative outlet One America News reported previously. President Trump appeared to confirm the report, sharing a screenshot on Twitter.
Little else is known about the attacker, with both American and Saudi officials remaining tight-lipped about his identity or possible motives.
The manifesto was released just as the New York Times reported that six Saudi nationals had been detained for questioning at the Pensacola naval base, some of which reportedly filmed the officer’s shooting rampage, which injured eight in addition to the fatalities.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud sent condolences after the shooting, explaining that “the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter,” adding that his country “[loves] the American people,” according to President Trump, who spoke to the Gulf monarch by phone.
Over the last two decades, US foreign policy has been mostly fixated on the Muslim world, intervening across the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa in a “War on Terror.” The ill-fated invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in the early 2000s – launched in the wake of the September 11 attacks – preceded a chain of additional incursions, including in Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Mali and Yemen.