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Pentagon: Saudi Military Students Present No Threat

Pentagon: Saudi Military Students Present No Threat

Saturday, 21 December, 2019 - 07:45
The Pentagon in Washington, US, is seen from aboard Air Force One, March 29, 2018. (Reuters)

The Pentagon said on Thursday that military students of Saudi nationality presented no threat to the United States, following a shooting earlier this month by a Saudi Air Force officer, who killed three people at a base in Florida.

In its review of about 850 military students from Saudi Arabia studying in the United States, the Pentagon found no information indicating an immediate threat to US security.

“We can report that no information indicating an immediate threat scenario was discovered,” said Garry Reid, a director for defense intelligence, counter-intelligence, law enforcement and security, briefing Pentagon reporters.

“A summary of all relevant information has been provided to the sponsoring organizations, namely the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, or DSCA, and the military departments,” he added.

“We will continue the vetting for the remainder of all current international military students, and apply the same procedures to any inbound IMS while we work with our colleagues from State and Homeland Security on any permanent policy changes for vetting foreign students.”

Following the shooting on December 6, the Pentagon ordered a broad review of vetting procedures for international students who participate in training on US military installations and demanded the process be strengthened.

About 5,000 military students from 150 countries are receiving training in bases within the United States.

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, the Saudi ambassador to the US, visited the military air base in Pensacola, Florida last week, to extend her condolences after the tragedy caused by the second lieutenant Saudi Mohammed Shamrani.

The ambassador met with the base commander, and reiterated her condemnation of the attack, stressing her readiness to provide any possible assistance to expedite the investigation.

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