Following the deadly shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, more than a dozen military trainees of Saudi origins are being expelled from the country, as reported by USA Today.
As the shooter himself was a Saudi and a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force, other Saudis training with the U.S. military came under intense scrutiny in the broad investigation that followed. None of those being expelled are accused of conspiring with the shooter, but are facing expulsion due to other irregularities and dangers discovered, including ties to extremist groups.
Lt. Col. Robert Carver, speaking on behalf of the Department of Defense, further explained the Pentagon’s handling of the situation, clarifying that “the Department of Defense restricted to classroom training programs foreign military students from Saudi Arabia while we conducted a review and enhancement of our foreign student vetting procedures.”
The shooter, along with the dozen who are being expelled, was part of a security cooperation agreement between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia which allowed Saudi nationals to undergo training with the United States military on American soil. There were roughly 852 such Saudis training in the U.S. prior to the halting of this program in the wake of the shooting, which left three dead and another eight injured before the gunman was killed.