The Pensacola naval air station is one of the biggest in the USA. It is the home of flying training in the USA and plays host to plenty of foreign students. The base is in the news after a student trainee entered a classroom and shot at students killing three of them. The student, Mohammed Alshamrani is a Saudi national. US News has quoted Associated Press as stating that the student had earlier in the week watched videos of mass shootings with three other colleagues at a dinner party hosted by him.

The attack

Mohammed Alshamrani is a Saudi national and to prevent backlash the King of Saudi Arabia spoke to Donald Trump the US president expressing his condolences in the matter and stating that the Saudi people do not share the views of the man who committed the carnage.

The attack, close on the heels of another shooting at Hawaii naval base is cause for alarm. This attack also shows that despite professions of friendship by the top leadership of Saudi Arabia, there are a few in the rank and file who consider the USA an enemy. One can recollect that even in Afghanistan there have been cases of Afghan soldiers pulling guns on their colleagues, the American soldiers. NBC reported that the shooter opened fire inside a classroom on Friday, killing three people and wounding two sheriff's deputies, before one of the deputies shot him dead. Eight others were also hurt. Both deputies are out of danger.

It is now known that three other Saudi personnel watched the videos of mass shootings.

It is understood that an investigation is on and 10 Saudi Air force officers are under investigation and custody. The authorities are trying to determine whether this is a terror-related case. All the same, it has prompted the US president to order that a review be carried out of all foreign trainees at the base.

The 2nd Lieutenant

Mohammed Alshamrani was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Saudi Air force and the fact that he pulled the gun is a matter of concern and shows that officers of the Saudi Air Force are not enamored with the kingdom's relationship with the USA. The assailant has been shot dead but this will be small consolation to the three Americans who died.

The USA might have to rethink its policy with regards to the nationals of other countries whose leadership professes friendship with America. But, sometimes, those in the ranks of their armed forces may dislike the United States.

The Pensacola naval air station is an important part of the US military war machine. Normally military and naval bases are supposed to be secure but one wonders how a committed and renegade opponent of America sent by a friendly country can be identified and controlled. It's not an easy task as what goes on in the mind of the officer or national is not written on his face.

Last word

Probably there is a need to restrict trainees from countries who are vulnerable to the influence of extremist philosophy. This will involve a decision at the highest level but America has lost too many young men to shooting and killings by soldiers who profess to be allies and then turn the gun on the men helping them