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FBI investigating shooting at Navy base as act of terrorism

By Daniel Uria

Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The FBI said Sunday that it is investigating a shooting at a U.S. naval base in Pensacola, Fla., on Friday as an act of terrorism.

Rachel Rojas, special agent in charge of the FBI's Jacksonville division, said the agency is working to determine whether the gunman Ahmed Mohammed al-Shamrani worked as "part of a larger network" when he opened fire in a Naval Air Station Pensacola classroom and to "discern any possible ideology that may have been a factor" in the attack.

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Rojas said that working under the presumption that the shooting, in which three people were killed and eight were injured, was an act of terrorism allows the FBI to maximize tools to identify and eliminate any further threats although she said the investigation has not led to any information that "indicated any credible threat" to the Pensacola community.

The gunman, identified as Saudi aviation trainee, was killed at the scene and no arrests have been made in the case.

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Rojas said the weapon used to carry out the attack was identified as a 9mm Glock and was purchased lawfully, but declined to describe how he obtained it and brought it onto the Naval base that generally bars outside weapons.

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Other Saudi students at the base are cooperating with FBI investigators while their Saudi commanding officer has ordered they be restricted to the base. Rojas added that the Suadi government has pledged its full cooperation to the investigation.

Rojas declined to comment on reports that other Saudi students at the base filmed the shooting as it took place.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told Fox News Sunday he was told one or two students were filming the shooting but it was unclear if they had begun filming before the start of the attack or as it was taking place.

"You know, today, people pull out their phones and film everything and anything that happens," Esper said.

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