Pensacola Naval Air Station Shooter, a Saudi Air Force Officer, Was an al Qaida Operative

Naval Air Base Station Pensacola shooting

Naval Air Base Station in Pensacola, Fla. The FBI has found a link between the gunman in a deadly attack at a military base last December and an al-Qaida operative. That’s according to a U.S. official who spoke to The Associated Press on Monday. (AP Photo/Melissa Nelson, File)

By Eric Tucker, AP

The gunman in a deadly attack at a military base in Pensacola, Florida, last December was meticulous in his planning and had been radicalized overseas for at least five years, U.S. officials said Monday.

The FBI learned of the contacts between the gunman, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, and an al-Qaida operative after breaking the encryption on cellphones that had previously been locked.

Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Chris Wray held a news conference to announce the developments in the shooting late last year at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, in which a Saudi Air Force officer killed three U.S. sailors and injured eight other people.

This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Mohammed Alshamrani. The Saudi student opened fire inside a classroom at Naval Air Station Pensacola before one of the deputies killed him. The FBI has found a link between the gunman in a deadly attack at a military base last December and an al-Qaida operative. That’s according to a U.S. official who spoke to The Associated Press on Monday. (FBI via AP)

Alshamrani, who was killed by a sheriff’s deputy during the rampage at a classroom building, was undergoing flight training at Pensacola, where members of foreign militaries routinely receive instruction.

The Justice Department had previously asked Apple to help extract data from two iPhones that belonged to the gunman, including one that authorities say Alshamrani damaged with a bullet after being confronted by law enforcement. Wray said FBI agents were able to break the encryption without the help of Apple.

Law enforcement officials left no doubt that Alshamrani was motivated by jihadist ideology, saying he visited a New York City memorial to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and posted anti-American and anti-Israeli messages on social media just two hours before the shooting.

Separately, al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen, released a video claiming the attack. The branch, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, has long been considered the global network’s most dangerous branch and has attempted to carry out attacks on the U.S. mainland.

In this Dec. 9, 2019 photo made available by the FBI, Saudi Arabia Defense Attaché Major General Fawaz Al Fawaz (second from right) meets with Saudi students at the NAS Pensacola base in Pensacola, Fla. The Navy announced on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, that flight training has been suspended for about 175 Saudi Arabian students in the wake of a shooting at the base on Friday that killed three sailors and injured eight others. (FBI via AP)

In January, U.S. officials announced that they were sending home 21 Saudi military students after an investigation revealed that they had had jihadist or anti-American sentiments on social media pages or had “contact with child pornography.”

Barr said at the time that Saudi Arabia had agreed to review the conduct of all 21 to see if they should face military discipline and to send back anyone the U.S. later determines should face charges.

comments

  1. avatar Survivordude1090 says:

    What a shocker.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Mohammed Alshamrani.

      Al Qaida.

      This is my shocked face. |)

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I know, right?! Knock me over with a feather.

      Who woulda thunk it? Wow. I mean, this really is going to make me change my assumptions…

  2. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    They were a bunch of morons. This is the sort of person you just want to be as low key as possible and send back intel.

    1. avatar Binder says:

      Dude was undergoing flight training, what the hell, does radicalization make you stupid? Kind of makes you think about hard core true believers now doesn’t it? Not like there are any of those types here 😉

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Doesn’t mean he was being *successfully* trained to fly, when I went thru with AF the washout rate was 50%. If he was in the process of washing out, perhaps he felt (or was told) that his best bet was to kill every American on the planet.

        1. avatar PMinFl says:

          He was related to some kind of “royalty” in Saudi, so he really doesn’t wash out, just gets comments by trainers about shortcomings.

      2. avatar A. C. says:

        Radicalization does NOT make you stupid. Western culture seems to have a problem with assuming evil is equivalent to stupidity. It is not. While lots of stupid people do evil things, there are plenty of very smart people in the world that do evil things. And succeed.

        1. avatar Paul says:

          Yes, that exactly. Adolph Hitler, for example, was at least moderately bright. Evil as evil can be, but he wasn’t stupid. Stalin was at least as evil, though maybe less intelligent than Hitler. Mao? Less evil, maybe, but still pretty smart.

          As a rule, morons don’t make it into the history books.

        2. avatar Me says:

          We know more about the stupid ones because they get caught more.

    2. avatar SoCalJack says:

      It does sound like amateur-hour. Whatever their primary mission or long-term goal, it’s not happining. Now the Saudi military be under greater scurtiny by US DoD.

    3. avatar Hannibal says:

      They don’t care about intel. They’re not a state actor anymore. They’re not an intelligence service. They’re a rabble.

    4. avatar Southern Cross says:

      The profession with highest number of terrorist recruitment is engineers. They may be at least book smart but terrorist engineers tend to let their faith overrule their brains.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Engineers are over-represented in terrorist recruitment because engineers can do something for the terrorists.

        Let’s say you’re Abu Jihad over in Dirka-Dirka-Dirkastan, and you’re setting up a terrorist cell. You want to do some really awesome stuff to capture the western news cycle and make people in the hyperventilation industry (ie, the news/opinion companies) lose their minds. Who are you going to recruit?

        Well, you could recruit English majors to write a really awesome poem about how mad you are, and give those infidels a piece of your mind in iambic pentameter. Or, you could recruit some splenetic females with armpit hair and womyn’s studies degrees to trap some innocent politician in the corner of a room and chew his leg off. Or, you could recruit a j-school major and wage a war on truth and facts until people’s heads implode from the vacuous nature of your group’s press releases.

        Or you could recruit a couple of engineers and actually make a weapon of some sort and do something that leaves an impression.

        Engineers were born in war. The term ‘engineer’ is a corruption of the French term ingénieur, and the term comes from the men who used to run siege engines in medieval warfare. It’s no secret that people who want to wage war recruit engineers. When I graduated in the early 80’s, literally half of all graduating EE’s were employed in the US defense sector.

        Want to wage a war? Recruit engineers.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Engineers are over-represented in terrorist recruitment because engineers can do something for the terrorists.”

          Nicely done explanation.

        2. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

          “Mechanical engineers design weapons, civil engineers design targets.”

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Mechanical engineers design weapons, civil engineers design targets.”

          Nice companion to:
          NAVY – There are only two kinds of ships; submarines, and targets
          MARINES – The Navy has only two responsibilities: deploy Marines, and drink coffee
          AIR FORCE – Bombers penetrate deeper, and deliver bigger loads

          Somebody got one for the Army?

  3. avatar Leighton says:

    Be sure to thank Apple for their help in getting the information. Oh wait….never mind.
    I can understand not giving up info to get in….. but why not open it up and hand it over if a court order or warrant is issued?

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Because that would be an admission that there is a back door, and every hacker in the world will start looking for it. Better just to have an outsider hack the individual phone.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        That and they’d be flooded with requests from every LEO that got a hold of a locked Apple phone which isn’t a precedent they want to set.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      They purposely built a system to resist anyone from spying on them. Giving the government the solution negates that. Given the way the government has been found to abuse this sort of thing again… and again… it makes no sense to work for them to destroy your own encryption.

      Anyone who cares about the 4th Amendment should applaud apple for standing up for a second.

      1. avatar PMinFl says:

        Yes. do you really need to help the government to spy on us any easier?

      2. avatar Pepe says:

        People like to rip on Apple and think somehow iPhones are for the gays, but they are secure and at least Apple stands up for it’s commitment to keep it that way.

    3. avatar Alexander says:

      As if without the iPhone data the government is unable to see the connection. But using this case, and a dead terrorist (that was invited here by the government), is a great opportunity to get the Apple code to enable spying on us.

  4. avatar Swarf says:

    Ah yes, our staunch allies, the Saudis. Again.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      With allies like them…

      I have to wonder who is worse. Iran or Saudi Arabia. Both are hardcore religious fundamentalists who only disagree on a thousand plus year old interpretation of their faith. And both think their way should be followed by everyone else and they will force the matter at sword or gun point.

  5. avatar American Patriot says:

    A muslum with ties to terrorism……..Tell me it ain’t soooo.

  6. avatar Dude says:

    Just a shot in the dark here, I know it sounds crazy, but maybe we shouldn’t train and arm people that hate us?

    1. avatar TexTed says:

      I totally agree! That’s why we should immediately stop all public funding, and public loan guaranteeing, for all colleges in this country.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        Are saying that college presidents, in their luxurious campus retreats, shouldn’t be making millions off the backs of student debt?? That’s crazy talk!

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Are saying that college presidents, in their luxurious campus retreats, shouldn’t be making millions off the backs of student debt?? That’s crazy talk!”

          Yeah, it might be but….

          Free speech is for everyone, so crazy talk is to be defended. Of course, that might result in more such crazy talk, but it is a risk we take to honor our liberty. Unless, of course, we are talking about leftists, liberals, Dimwitocrats. In that case, crazy talk cannot be allowed, as only legitimate speech can be permitted as free speech.

        2. avatar kenstar says:

          We should consider kicking out every Chinese student in a technical program at a university in this country. They have become “cash cows” for these schools, and their tuition is paid by the Chinese government. They learn our technology or least they figure out how to steal it.

        3. avatar strych9 says:

          Ken:

          The solution you propose is probably the only one available in the bigger scheme of things. However, it should be noted that most of those Chinese students are not willing participants in what they’re doing.

          The Chinese government selects bright students to be sent to Western institutions and forces them to go to those institutions and engage in espionage and intellectual property theft. Back in China the student’s family made held as hostages.

          I can’t really get into details on this but one of the girls that went to school with my wife was in this situation. Her parents were reasonably high ranking Party members in good standing but were still hostages. She was told what to do, what degrees to pursue, what schools she would attend. Her “boyfriend” was a CCP minder here to keep an eye on her. Her family back in China was under threat of death if she didn’t do as instructed. She described the CCP as “evil” and defected to the US.

          I can also tell you that efforts to find such students are more widespread than is talked about. There are professors in this country who assist in the identification and vetting of Chinese defectors in PhD and post doc programs. Those programs are not completely successful but they are there.

        4. avatar TexTed says:

          “Are saying that college presidents, in their luxurious campus retreats, shouldn’t be making millions off the backs of student debt?? That’s crazy talk!”

          Sure, that too. But mainly I think it’s insanity that we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to send our kids to places that turn them into communists. Yet that’s exactly what we’re all doing.

          They say college should be free (and therefore mandatory)? F*** NO. We should de-fund any tax dollars from doing to any institution of “higher learning”. And we should teach our kids to be entrepreneurs, not having them aspire to become $15/hr McDonald’s workers.

      2. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        Colleges love foreign students because in most cases they pay full freight.

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Politics makes for strange bedfellows. The US just hates Iran a little more because of that overthrow of the Shah and that hostage thing.

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        The US doesn’t really hate Iran all that much, Ronald Reagan gave them a sweetheart deal on hundreds of millions of dollars in high-tech weapons directly to the ayatollah Khomeini and the Republican guard so they can’t be all bad.

        And the Iranians hate the US because of that whole assassinate the president and overthrow the government in a CIA coup thing.

        1. avatar Mitch says:

          “9/11, was, well, some people did some things..”

          That’s *your* Party Miner.

        2. avatar Dude says:

          “Iranians hate the US because of that whole assassinate the president and overthrow the government in a CIA coup thing.”

          I know they say that. It’s as good excuse as any. Every ruler has to have a boogeyman for the people to hate so their anger isn’t directed where it should be. I guess Climate Crisis and white supremacy talk doesn’t control the people over there. Look at photos of people in Iran in the 70s vs today. Maybe they’re just pissed that they’re repressed now? Either way, it’s been 40 years. The people from the U.S. that did that aren’t exactly calling the shots these days.

      2. avatar frank speak says:

        some chant “Death to America”….others just go out and do it……

  7. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Adults having sex with children is quite normal in many countries. And Libertarians, Liberals and the Left all support open borders. Allowing these people to come and go as they please into this country.

    A status of forces agreement will be the guide that directs the final outcome of this case. But military personnel will still be disarmed. Except for the base commander and his armed guard detail.

    And don’t tell me that an 0-6 and above don’t EDC. Rank has its privileges.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      If you think about it, this is why Progressives want to lower the age of voting. It is a prelude to lowering the age of consent.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “If you think about it, this is why Progressives want to lower the age of voting. It is a prelude to lowering the age of consent.”

        I’m wondering how they will script a law that describes how animals freely consent.

        1. avatar Southern Cross says:

          Level of resistance?

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Level of resistance?”

          Wouldn’t that be totally subjective, evaluated solely by the person receiving the resistance?

  8. avatar enuf says:

    Tim Cook (Apple #1) should have been prosecuted for refusing to help break into a DEAD terrorist’s iPhone. Any corporate officer who refuses a court order like that deserves to be dragged out in chains and tossed into a cell with bail denied.

    Theother thing is the long existing practice of disarmed military on military bases within the USA. That’s insane. There should be an executive order requiring the military on al our bases to maintain at least the carrying of sidearms, a round chambered and two magazines on the belt. Of course the selection of these personnel, training and assigning would require military regulation and rating, as is the norm for everything done in the services.

    The goal should be at last one armed service member per floor of a building, increasing that number depending upon the normal occupancy of the floor.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      “Any corporate officer who refuses a court order like that deserves to be dragged out in chains and tossed into a cell with bail denied.”

      Unless the order is thought to be an unconstitutional overreach for that particular situation. Remember, the Feds demanded that Apple design a back door to allow them access to all Apple phones.

      Court rulings are appealed and overturned all the time, every day, across the nation. All the way from local county courts, up to the Circuit Courts. SCOTUS overturns decisions from the Ninth on a regular basis. Just because a court makes a declaration, doesn’t make it lawful, constitutional, or even ethical/moral. Look at how Judge Benitez’ recent injunction was overturned in CA by the Ninth, or how courts all over the place allow for various degrees of murder via “abortion rights”.

      Again, just because a court (usually only a single judge) says something, doesn’t mean it’s something to be blindly and automatically followed.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Again, just because a court (usually only a single judge) says something, doesn’t mean it’s something to be blindly and automatically followed.”

        Unless, of course, it is a court order we approve of.

        Principles have to be flexible, else we are stuck with the demand to be consistent in our positions.

      2. avatar Darkman says:

        Unless you speak of the “Supreme” court. Then their edict is Law without the means for citizenry recourse.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Unless you speak of the “Supreme” court. Then their edict is Law without the means for citizenry recourse.”

          Balance of power…there are no real means for SC orders to be enforced (re: Heller/McDonald).

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Darkman,

          Sam is correct. SCOTUS does not have the constitutional power nor authority to enforce any opinion it dispenses. Marbury v. Madison is often misinterpreted by Leftists (not saying you are one, just saying it as a matter of statement) as evidence that Federal Courts may indeed expect enforce of their rulings, but study of that incident reveals that the Court merely pronounced itself with the power, without any support from Congress or the Constitution. Unfortunately, Congress did not act to immediately place the Court in check for its misguided declaration, and our country proceeded with this de facto belief.

          This would be like me standing out in the street and declaring that I’m the final say of any activity on that roadway, with the power to override state vehicle codes, city regulations, or local homeowner codes. If nobody acts to correct me, and end up following my commands, then newcomers who are born afterward (whether at the state or local levels) grow up with the mistaken belief that I am in charge. When someone finally reviews the original governing documents and discovers I’m not really in charge, few people believe him and nobody challenges me, even though the documents clearly state what’s true.

      3. avatar enuf says:

        ” Remember, the Feds demanded that Apple design a back door to allow them access to all Apple phones.”

        Except that the FBI made Apple an excellent offer. They would hand over the iPhone to Apple. Apple’s own staff would do the cracking of the phone and return the data. No FBI would be present, Apple would not have to reveal how they did it and Apple would be paid for the work.

        What the hell else could Apple possibly ask for to protect their profits? Especially in the face of trying to detect other terrorist actions and save American lives?

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Having worked on crypto systems, you might want to revisit your assumption that Apple can ‘crack’ their own phone crypto.

          Most crypto systems have been undone by errors and bad assumptions surrounding the crypto algorithms – eg, errors in implementation were the entry, not a cracking of the actual encryption itself.

          All that Apple had to do in order to make their phones less and less vulnerable is close off those errors. And perhaps they reached that point. If they haven’t, they wouldn’t want to advertise that they’ve found an error that sends other people seeking the vulnerability.

          Were I in Apple’s position, I wouldn’t offer to lift a finger for the FBI any more. They have proven themselves corrupt from top to bottom, and it is best to not get involved with them, at all, any more. The FBI did that to themselves.

          I would add, the FBI has disregarded intel about terrorists that was handed to us on a plate – eg, the Tsarnev Brothers, Speed-Bump and Boat Boy, were ID’d and handed to the FBI by the Russians before they blew up the Boston Marathon. The FBI did nothing with the info.

        2. avatar enuf says:

          I am not assuming that Apple could succeed in cracking the San Bernadino terrorists’s iPhone. The point is they refused to try on the basis of protecting their customer’s privacy and their technology. They refused under rather remarkable concessions by the FBI and never came back with any sort of counter offer.

          In the end the FBI dropped the matter when an Israeli company showed that they could crack the phone in question.

          Yes, I agree the FBI has had some major blunders. They have also had some major successes. Neither should be ignored and neighter should be used to excuse wrong-doing by others. As in “Two Wrong Do Not Make A Right”.

          It was wrong and incompetent of the FBI to fail to act in other cases where intel was provided. Now why should that failure excuse Apple for failing to try even when such extraordinary precautions are offered, along with payment, for Apple’s help?

        3. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Now why should that failure excuse Apple for failing to try even when such extraordinary precautions are offered, along with payment, for Apple’s help?”

          Because of “the Boogaloo”. One man’ terrorist/criminal is another man’s freedom fighter. People planning to take up arms against tyranny need to understand their righteous action will be considered crimes by the majority of the nation. Who among “the Patriots” wants Apple to cooperate with government to track down patriot terrorists?

          “Expediency” is always the cry of the tyrant. Who wants to join that mob?

    2. avatar Mack The Knife says:

      But, we have the smartest and brightest in the FBI, and the latest and greatest of technology. Needing a locksmith to open a door for the FBI reeks of incompetence, lack of technical skills and here it is, the uselessness of our government.
      The FBI is much better at running third world coups against the country than investigating crimes against it. Remember meta data? Didn’t work either did it. I guess if you are a foreigner in country you have immunity. You are only tracked down and prosecuted if you are a citizen. I’m afraid we have come full circle since 911.

      1. avatar billy-bob says:

        Maybe if the Feebs hadn’t been so consumed with their coup attempt over the last 4 years, they might have paid more attention to actual enemies.

      2. avatar enuf says:

        The best and brightest at encryption could afford to work as cheaply as the pay scales of the FBI. Those people work for industry, where the best pay is to be found.

    3. avatar Dude says:

      Tech companies are very concerned about their customers’ privacy when there is no money to be made.

      1. avatar Gordon in MO says:

        Dude says: May 18, 2020 at 13:03

        “Tech companies are very concerned about their customers’ privacy when there is no money to be made.”

        Unless the customer posts something that does not match their political narrative.

    4. avatar Paul says:

      Gotta disagree. It takes a lot of balls to defy a court order. Tim Cook or not, he coudln’t know if or when the Gestapo might kick his doors in, and haul him off to wherever.

      Standing up to government is an American right, and an American duty. I don’t even like Tim Cook or Apple, but they done right in refusing to knuckle under to law enforcement.

    5. avatar Ron says:

      Big old negative on that one. The Apple thing that is. I personally probably hate Al Queda and Islamic terror, more then the vast majority of you here, and still get why apple refused to help unlock the phone. Given it was in the hands of the government, Apple knew they were eventually going to break it. The feds have unlimited resources and time to crack a code. And they’ve been doing it very well since World War One. They didn’t need apples help, they just wanted it.

      Apple took the position of, if we cave on X, we’ll have to cave on Y. Which is true. “Slippery slope fallacy” Isn’t a fallacy. It’s called cause and effect. By refusing here they’ve made it very clear where they stand. Additionally, as stated above, it would’ve been a boon for hackers.
      Suggesting we arrest apple employees for such behavior would be quite the fascist or communist move on our part.

      But as for the military having the right to carry, I whole heartedly agree. The fact they can’t carry and are essentially denied 2A rights is disgusting.

      1. avatar Gordon in MO says:

        But as for the military having the right to carry, I whole heartedly agree. The fact they can’t carry and are essentially denied 2A rights is disgusting.

        When you join the military you sign a contract and give up your rights under the constitution. You live under the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice).

        Base commanders now have the power to arm people on the base.
        I know of some where the rule is all Staff NCO and above can carry.

        This was on a Navy base so all bets are off.

        1. avatar Ron says:

          While you are subject to UCMJ, I’ve got a feeling the founding fathers would find the notion of disarming the continental army as completely absurd.

    6. avatar frank speak says:

      they prefer to contract out their security…I did it for 10 yrs….seems like they trust the “hired-guns” more than their own people…or,..more likely… we just come cheaper than the MP’s we replaced….

  9. avatar RGP says:

    More leftovers from Obama’s Amerika! Training the guys who don’t like us! Hooray for our side!

    1. avatar enuf says:

      Nonsense. The USA has trained foreign military for generations under both big political parties.

      This is a failure of our screening of foreign military, not of the training programs we have long been running.

      1. avatar RGP says:

        Yes we’ve trained foreign militaries for at least most of the 20th century and the whole world knows it. But under Obama it seems to have been worse in terms of who we helped and who we didn’t help, and Obama purposely aided actual enemies.

        1. avatar Dude says:

          Well they have to get their machine guns somewhere, and it ain’t the internet.

        2. avatar Miner49er says:

          Obama has been gone over three years, he had nothing to do with the selection of the Saudi Arabia national for flight training in the US.

          That selection was made by the Trump administration, who bears responsibility for the oversight of this program and the participants.

          And the Trump administration dropped the ball.

        3. avatar Dude says:

          “Obama has been gone over three years, he had nothing to do with the…” Economy when it was going well before the virus? That wasn’t what we were told nonstop, despite even Obama saying on his way out, “what else are you going to do, wave a magic wand?” Wait, you aren’t just going to pick and choose what to credit Obama with are you? 😉

        4. avatar Paul says:

          I think you’re being just a little silly. Wasn’t Bush in bed with the Saudi Royals, at the same time that a bunch of Saudi nationals were flying planes into the twin towers?

          Oh, small mistake on my part. Bush was out of bed, sitting in an elementary school classroom, being taught how to read by a bunch of little kids at that moment in time.

        5. avatar Miner49er says:

          Yes, isn’t a video of w. bush doing the sword dance with the king just so precious!

          And never fear, Trump has his own secret deals going with the Saudis but it looks like we may not find out much about that because the cover-up is on!

          “U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel raised the possibility on Monday that the State Department’s inspector general was fired because he was investigating President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration last year that expedited an arms sale to Saudi Arabia.
          The dismissal of Steve Linick, the department’s inspector, was recommended by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to congressional Democrats.
          Linick’s investigation was nearly complete before his ouster last week, a Democratic congressional aide confirmed to McClatchy, raising suspicions that Linick’s firing was intended to snuff out his report.”

      2. avatar Mark N. says:

        Agreed. Despite their ultraconservative religious beliefs, Saudi Arabia has stood by us staunchly for the last fifty years, and has protected us from anti-American moves in OPEC. It has spent billions on purchases of American military equipment, including high tech aircraft and missile systems as a hedge against Iranian expansionism. We serve each others national security interests. Is it a perfect marriage? No, but then few such arrangements around the world are.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          “…stood by us staunchly…”

          If by that you mean funneling money to wahhabi nutbags everywhere, including the 9/11 attackers — and using their privileged ally status to get away with attacking their neighbors and generally stealing and murdering wherever they want (including brutally murdering an American citizen) with no repercussions at all, then yes, they’ve been very staunch allies.

          Let’s not delude ourselves about who the Saudis really are.

        2. avatar Mark N. says:

          The guy murdered in their Turkish embassy was not a US citizen. and he was an anti-government agitator aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is definitely no friend of ours.

        3. avatar Southern Cross says:

          Neither side is a friend of ours. They are just allies of convenience at best.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Neither side is a friend of ours. They are just allies of convenience at best.”

          Agree. Thinking that alliances are based upon mutually respected moral values is juvenile.

        5. avatar Gordon in MO says:

          The kingdom is just like all countries in the Middle East. They are our friends as long as they get sufficient benefit from the arrangements. When the situations change they will also.

          A major factor in the agreement is that USA provides most of the defense for KSA, saving lots of money for the King and his family. No minor issue is their culture does not turn out very many people who do well in a military organization, ( obey orders, follow a leader, …) They turn out people who are very individualistic except for their religion.

          Spent some time in KSA, won’t go back.

        6. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “The kingdom is just like all countries in the Middle East. They are our friends as long as they get sufficient benefit from the arrangements. When the situations change they will also. ”

          This is as it should be for every sovereign nation: aligned interests, not marriages. National alliances are the international version of, “Be polite to everyone you meet, and have a plan to kill them.”

          Many would be shocked to learn that at one time, the US military (thus the US as a nation) had battle plans for invading and occupying Canada, and battle plans to be executed against Great Britain should that seagoing empire decide the US was a threat to their ocean supply lines.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      lol yeah let’s take a look at who funded these guys into existance back in the 80s and see what you think about the President then

      1. avatar Miner49er says:

        Yes, just who was it funded these guys back in the 80s?

        Let’s see, would that be Ronald Reagan, the same American president who secretly provided the Iranian Republican guard with hundreds of millions in high-tech weaponry?

        But it must be OK, he was a Republican, funding the Iranian Republican guard, how interesting!

        1. avatar Ron says:

          See I figured you’d like that about Reagan considering your hero Obama gave Iran and ISIS plane loads of cash and weapons.

        2. avatar Miner49er says:

          Nope, no weapons.

          And the money belonged to Iran, it was a settlement for a botched arms deal by the Reagan administration.

        3. avatar Ron says:

          It actually did happen miner. Obama in his infinite wisdom decided to funnel epic tons of weapons, ammo, money, and supplies to the “Free Syrian Army”… guess what that became quick fast and in a hurry? ALL of that became shiny new ISIS gear.

          And we had every right to hold that money, even Bill Clinton agreed. That money wasn’t from any arms deal. It was frozen assets from the Iranian revolution.

  10. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Terrorists in Saudi hands have a nasty habit of “escaping”.

    1. avatar Gordon in MO says:

      That is because tribal members will help other members of the tribe. Family trumps tribe, tribe trumps country.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “That is because tribal members will help other members of the tribe. Family trumps tribe, tribe trumps country.”

        The “escapes” seem to be more like a protection racket than tribal loyalties.

        1. avatar Gordon in MO says:

          There is always the possibility of Baksheesh being involved in any transaction there.

  11. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Well, duh!

  12. avatar 007 says:

    We can always rely on our glorious FBI to keep us safe from terrorists.

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    Just a couple of days ago, in connection with a lawsuit against the Kingdom by families of 9/11 victims, the DOJ inadvertently admitted that Saudi official Musaed al-Jarrah aided the terrorists after trying for two years to conceal his identity.

    Don’t trust Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is @ssh0le. And the same goes for the Feebs.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      China is far more dangerous than Saudi Arabia will ever be, and Iran is far more dangerous to our interest in protecting Israel than the Saudis, who have joined with the Israelis in opposing Iran’s attempt to achieve hegemony across the Middle East as a steppingstone to eliminating Israel and the various Sunni states. Although it is admitted nowhere, it is readily apparent that Jordan and Saudi Arabia allow Israeli jets free passage to attack various IRG bases in eastern Syria.

      1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        We have no interest in protecting Israel. All of the money spent on that endeavor should be given to the American people, not an insignificant nation on the other side of the world. Let Israel sleep in the bed it has made.

        1. avatar Miner49er says:

          But don’t you know, their sky daddy has told them that the Israelites are his chosen people.

          Just like before, he told Israelites to go take the land and slay the people who live there and take it for themselves.

          All supported by your tax dollars, doesn’t it feel good doing sky daddy’s work!

    2. avatar Miner49er says:

      How dare you speak against our great leader Emperor Don, he and MBS are great pals, they are both billionaires profiting from war in the Middle East.

      “On May 20, 2017, U.S. President Trump and Saudi Arabia’s Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud signed a series of letters of intent for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to purchase arms from the United States totaling US$110 billion immediately, and $350 billion over 10 years.”

      Trump, Making Saudi Arabia Great Again!

      Trump/House of Saud 2020

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Saudi Arabia and the Feebs not the only @ssh0les. There’s always Swiner69er.

        1. avatar Miner49er says:

          Swiner69er, how clever!

        2. avatar Mark says:

          That is some funny shit right there.

  14. avatar Robocop says:

    “Wray said FBI agents were able to break the encryption without the help of Apple.”

    Oh that’s good?

  15. avatar Anon says:

    So now they (the SAUDIS) know not to use social media. All but one of the 911 attackers was a Saudi.

    Can someone connects the dots for our civilian and military “leadership”?

    This is how the Bush family got rich.

    Have a nice day.

    1. avatar Judy says:

      The Bush family was already rich, conspiracy theorist.
      The better question that all dems ignore is how did Obama
      leave office with an 80 million dollar bank account, maybe his friends
      in Iran who support terrorism that he gave billions of U.S. tax payers money to and knowledge
      to harness nuclear power, or maybe the Mexican drug cartels liberals give sanctuary to their dealers and gang members

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        He made his money the old fashioned way — he sold his country for it.

      2. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        Oh please, Obama carried more water for the terrorists in Israel than he ever did for Iran. Wish he had hated me enough to give me $40 billion dollars like the did the Israelis.

      3. avatar Miner49er says:

        Well you know, Barack Hussein Obama has released all his tax returns so even a casual examination shows most of his money has been made selling books, he’s her best selling author.

        Of course you probably don’t know that, as you don’t know how to read much past the simple requirements of posting on right wing gun forums.

        And of course, Obama is a much better businessman than Donald Trump, Obama has never declared bankruptcy.

        Trump university, trump airlines, trump vodka, etc. And the Atlantic City casinos, wow! You have to be a terrible businessman to run a casino into the ground.

  16. avatar enuf says:

    Keep in mind that in the aftermath of the 2015 San Bernardino Terrorist Attack, the FBI did not demand Apple reveal anything about Apple’s encryption technology. What they sought was cooperation to the extent that they offered to hand the iPhone over to Apple for Apple itself to crack it and return the data found within. Strictly by Apple personnel, nothing revealed of Apple’s proprietary technology. The offer included paying Appler for this work.

    Remember this concearned a terrorist that died in a gun battle with American police after having murdered American citizens. How such a case does not move Apple to do the patriotic thing, especially with all the cooperation and offer of payment made by law enforcement, boggles the mind.

    This is one reson why I refuse to buy an Apple product. Apple was not trying to protect customer privacy. What Apple feared was a leak of it’s own secrets from within. As such, Apple placed the safety of American citizens far below that of any theoretical negative impact upon future profits.

    Naturally, there are people here who will defend Apple as if Apple were one living, breathing human being. Because this is now fashionable to assign only evil intent to those charged with our protection while ignoring the amoral actions of those who would compromise ourr safety.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      I dislike Apple and own exactly 0 of their products but your read of this is incorrect.

      Apple made clear at the time why they did what they did; for fear of setting a precedent and also telling the whole world to go and look for something.

      The government hates private encryption specialists because they know that encryption is getting to the point that it’s essentially unbreakable by brute force methods. There was quite a bit of consternation when people started talking about free ware with 1024bit encryption that was designed in a randomized manner so that even the people who built the encryption couldn’t break it.

      When it comes to truly private speech, the encrypted kind, the government believes that such power should only reside with the government.

  17. avatar Top says:

    There’s a very good reason the Army’s advisory teams work in the host country.

  18. avatar Judy says:

    When are the hypocrites on the left going to start crying and calling this guy a racist
    like they did when Trump had the military take out a terrorist leader who threatened to
    kill U.S. citizens?

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      The same people who casually ignore racism, sexism, misogyny, religious intolerance, arbitrary arrest and detention, and corruption, nepotism, and cronyism because “it is their way” and who are we to interfere.

  19. avatar WI Patriot says:

    Gee, no shit…go figure…

  20. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Yet another example of the cult of peace and love.

  21. avatar former water walker says:

    Nothing to add…Apple sux!

  22. avatar L. Shamus McQuade says:

    It should com to NO SURPRISE. Militant Islam had declared war on the US back in 1991. Smarten Up

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Try 1979.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Try 1979.”

        OK, Boomer; whatever.

        Don’t go all “history matters” on us. If it wasn’t on Twitsville or Faceplant, it isn’t important.

        1. avatar Southern Cross says:

          Boomer? I was born too late to be a boomer and too old to be a Gen X.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Boomer? I was born too late to be a boomer and too old to be a Gen X.”

          Not to worry. Just a spoof. I used the “boomer” tag because so many people here respond to historical references with disdain.

    2. avatar Miner49er says:

      Actually it was about 1953, when the CIA assassinated their democratically elected president and installed a king on the throne.

      1. avatar Southern Cross says:

        Some Cold War decisions were not the best options in the long term. But to the CIA, anyone slightly to the left of Hitler or Mussolini and had a whiff of socialism was immediately branded a red-dyed communist.

  23. avatar George in Alaska says:

    Fuck Apple and all of their products. This story does not tell everything. Apple was indeed asked to help open the phones and they have been asked other times in other incidents. They refused. I will never own any Apple products or allow my kids to have them.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Well, if you’d rather go with a device running on Android (aka Spyware: The Operating System), you’re welcome to do so. If the Apple encryption that helps protect my privacy also hinders the FBI’s investigation into a terrorist they should have caught *before* he went ballistic, I’m okay with that trade.

      Unless there’s a third choice nobody’s told me about? I wouldn’t mind giving my money to None of the Above.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        3rd Option: burner phones.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “3rd Option: burner phones.”

          Uh, oh. Careful there. That might be considered hate speech, or a terroristic threat. Or something.

        2. avatar Ing says:

          So there is no other option, then, if you use your phone to communicate with normal people on a daily basis. Figured so.

        3. avatar strych9 says:

          If anyone actually cared they’d be more likely to yell “Drugs! A CI said he sells drugs!” and SWAT me.

          Just way easier that way. A full half of TTAG would say it must be true and support the authorities on that.

        4. avatar strych9 says:

          Ing:

          Sure there is, a few in fact. They’re just significantly less convenient than simply dropping your normal phone in your pocket.

      2. avatar possum says:

        Something ain’t right when everyone “Has” to have a cell phone. Even if you can’t afford one the government will give you one. Yup cell phones, will put you in a cell but I can’t get no( satisfaction) cell phone in a cell

      3. avatar Gordon in MO says:

        So you think Apple doesn’t spy on their I-device users?

  24. avatar DaveL says:

    What was his code name, “Porn ‘stache?”

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Borat’s other cousin? The one who sleeps with sheep?

  25. avatar Model 31 says:

    Just because the government says that Apple did not lend a hand does not make it true.
    Just because Apple says that it didn’t lend the government a hand does not make it true.

    1. avatar arc says:

      I was about to comment on the same thing, then I saw yours and you nailed it.

      Apple may very well have helped the FBI and just told them to say it was FBI ingenuity that broke in. Apple would tank hard if they said they helped the FBI. Apple has a strong financial interest to maintain the appearance that they do not cooperate with governments, but may be strong armed outside of the public view.

      Phones are not secure devices for the simple fact that technology is full of holes. It may be fairly secure today, but it won’t be in five years. The best algorithms are useless if there is a crack in the hardware or a bug in the code. Physical access and time are the ultimate enemies of data security. If there is something you must write down or communicate and really want to keep safe, use PGP. Encrypt the text first, client side, then send it.

      Alternatively, if you are creative and don’t mind a lot of effort, write it in a language that you yourself made, using a dictionary of roots, prefixes, and suffixes that only you understand, and special modifiers that make the text or script a-symetric. Multiple symbols for the same character, which further complicates any efforts to translate. Even if someone managed to translate inane scribbles into something close to their English equivalent, without the definitions for the words, its a dead language.

  26. avatar possum says:

    I already knew that. Tooth paste and a candy bar

  27. avatar Fergus Boone says:

    I do not believe the FBI’s explanation nor the government. I do not believe the government was unable or had not listened to these Jihaddies transmissions and messages, especially given the questionable history of the Mueller-Comey FBI, Obama’s intelligence efforts, and the Obama’s regime attitude toward terrorism.

    I believe just as the US major Hassan was known to have contacted terrorists while the government did nothing the same sequence of events were repeated.

    The questions I have are as follows:
    -Why are Muslims trained in the US and not in an Islamic state, say MoroccoAre we to believe that an FBI as warped and twisted as the Muller-Comey FBI would have allowed such a plot to succeed? We have as a precedent the Hassan case..
    -Why are American personnel still disarmed on US military facilities. All officers and ranking NCOs should be armed.

  28. avatar Paladin says:

    Was he one of the terrorist that Obowelmovement scrubbed their records so they wouldn’t get found out???
    Obowelmovement needs to be tried for treason as a formality and hung!

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      “tried for treason as a formality”

      Yeah, who cares about all that due process and bill of rights.

      It seems you’ve solved your toilet paper shortage by using the United States Constitution, how very American of you!

  29. avatar TFred says:

    And yet once again, AG Barr uses “because terrorists” to bully the American people into accepting a mandatory back door into their encryption products.

    The whole concept is ludicrous, even worse than the premise that gun control stops criminals from using guns, because encryption doesn’t require any sort of a manufacturing process.

    It’s math. Plain math. You cannot outlaw math.

    Any reasonably competent high school computer programming student can implement unbreakable encryption.

    Even more so than guns, “when you outlaw unbreakable encryption, only criminals will have unbreakable encryption.” How does that help anyone?

  30. avatar Aaron says:

    It’s a religion of PEACE, you bigots, you islamophobes, you racists!

    Ignore what your lying eyes are telling you!

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      ” It’s a religion of PEACE, you bigots, you islamophobes, you racists!
      Ignore what your lying eyes are telling you!”

      Aloha Snackbar !!

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