WATCH/READ: William Barr’s Disturbing Statement on the NAS Pensacola Atrocity

Today’s Campaign Update, Part II
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

What’s it been – six weeks since the killings took place? Hey, better late than never. – The U.S. Justice Department finally got around to formally announcing what any thinking person knew from the moment we heard about it: That the December 6 mass murder by a Saudi national at NAS Pensacola was an act of Islamic terrorism.

Attorney General William Barr held a press conference on Monday to announce the results of the crack FBI Dumpster Fire team’s intrepid investigation. Here is a clip from Mr. Barr’s disturbing statement followed by a transcript of his remarks:

 

For those of you who still like to read stuff, here is a full transcript of the Attorney General’s remarks [emphasis added]:

Good afternoon, and thank you for coming.

We are here to discuss the results of the investigation into the shooting that occurred on Dec. 6, 2019 at Pensacola Naval Air Station.

Joining me today are David Bowdich, Deputy Director of the FBI; John Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Michael Sherwin, Associate Deputy Attorney General for National Security; Rachel Rojas, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Field Office in Jacksonville, Florida; and Larry Keefe, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

I want to thank the FBI and the other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies involved in responding to and investigating the incident for their rapid and excellent work.  Many people worked long hours through the holidays, and I am grateful for their diligence and commitment to seeing this through.  You will be hearing from Deputy Director Bowdich shortly about the details of the FBI investigative work, which was superb.

In considering this case, we have to remember that there are thousands of allied pilots and other military personnel receiving training on military bases throughout the United States.  These military partnerships are critically important to the United States.  The Royal Saudi Air Force, which flies American-made aircraft, is an important military partner, and has long had a training relationship with us.

On Dec. 6, 2nd Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force, entered a building on the grounds of Pensacola Naval Air Station and killed three U.S. sailors and severely wounded eight other Americans.  Alshamrani was killed during the attack.

This was an act of terrorism.

The evidence shows that the shooter was motivated by jihadist ideology.  During the course of the investigation, we learned that the shooter posted a message on social media on Sept. 11 of last year that said: “the countdown has begun.”  Over Thanksgiving weekend, he visited the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.  He also posted other anti-American, anti-Israeli, and jihadi messages on social media, and did so two hours before his attack at the naval base.

Early reports indicated that the shooter arrived at the site, accompanied by other Saudi cadets, who took video of the attack as it unfolded.  These reports turned out not to be accurate.  The shooter arrived by himself.  Other Saudi cadets happened to be in the area and, after the attack began, they took some videos of the resulting commotion.  They fully cooperated in the investigation, as did the other Saudi cadets who were interviewed by the FBI at Pensacola and at additional bases across the country.

After Alshamrani entered the building and cased the facility, he proceeded to walk around shooting down his unarmed victims in cold blood.

During and after this heinous attack, there were many specific acts of courage, and I want to draw special attention to two U.S. Marines: Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Maisel and Staff Sgt. Samuel Mullins.

They were outside the building when they heard gunfire and, although unarmed, they ran into the building to confront the shooter.  Their only weapon was a fire extinguisher that they had pulled off the wall as they ran toward the gunfire.  Who but the Marines?

Although they were unable to engage the shooter, they helped save many lives by performing CPR and other medical aid on the victims.

I would also like to mention the heroic acts of Navy Airman Ryan Blackwell.  The shooter shot Airman Blackwell five times, yet Ryan still managed to jump on top of a fellow sailor to keep her from being shot.  He further assisted other students and helped them escape, all while taking additional fire from the shooter.  Airman Blackwell’s heroic acts also saved countless lives that day.

We are grateful as well for the bravery of the base personnel and local law enforcement responders who initially arrived at the scene and engaged the shooter.

I would also like to address the cooperation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave complete and total support for our counter-terrorism investigation, and ordered all Saudi trainees to fully cooperate.  This assistance was critical to helping the FBI determine whether anyone assisted the shooter in the attack.

While there was no evidence of assistance or pre-knowledge of the attack by other members of the Saudi military (or any other foreign nationals) who are training in the United States, we did learn of derogatory material possessed by 21 members of the Saudi military who are training here in the United States.

Seventeen had social media containing some jihadi or anti-American content.  However, there was no evidence of any affiliation or involvement with any terrorist activity or group.  Fifteen individuals (including some of the 17 just mentioned) had had some kind of contact with child pornography.  While one of these individuals had a significant number of such images, all the rest had one or two images, in most cases posted in a chat room by someone else or received over social media.

The relevant U.S. Attorneys offices independently reviewed each of the 21 cases involving derogatory information and determined that none of them would, in the normal course, result in federal prosecution.

However, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia determined that this material demonstrated conduct unbecoming an officer in the Saudi Royal Air Force and Royal Navy and the 21 cadets have been dis-enrolled from their training curriculum in the U.S. military and will be returning to Saudi Arabia (later today).

The Kingdom has assured me that it will review each of these cases under their code of military justice and criminal code.  The Kingdom has also agreed that we will have full access to anyone we want to interview in Saudi Arabia and any documents relevant to our investigation.  Indeed, it has already been providing documents.  Further, the Kingdom has assured us that, if we later decide to charge any of those being sent back to Saudi Arabia in connection with this counterterrorism investigation, it will return them for trial.

We appreciate Saudi Arabia’s cooperation in this case.

Finally, I want to address an issue regarding the shooter’s phones.

The shooter possessed two Apple iPhones, seen on posters here.

Within one day of the shooting, the FBI sought and received court authorization based on probable cause to search both phones in an effort to run down all leads and figure out with whom the shooter was communicating. 

During the gunfight with first responders, the shooter disengaged long enough to place one of the phones on the floor and shoot a single round into the device.  It also appears the other phone was damaged.

Our experts at the FBI crime lab were able to fix both damaged phones so they are operational.

However, both phones are engineered to make it virtually impossible to unlock them without the password.  It is very important to know with whom and about what the shooter was communicating before he died.

We have asked Apple for their help in unlocking the shooter’s iPhones.  So far Apple has not given us any substantive assistance.  This situation perfectly illustrates why it is critical that investigators be able to get access to digital evidence once they have obtained a court order based on probable cause.  We call on Apple and other technology companies to help us find a solution so that we can better protect the lives of Americans and prevent future attacks.

With that, I will turn things over to Deputy Director Bowdich.

[End]

Several aspects of Barr’s remarks are highly disturbing:

  • How likely do you really think it is that several fellow Saudi training pilots with no affiliation with the shooter just happened to be right there, ready and able to film the killings while making zero effort to intervene, later posting their video on social media? Quite the coincidence there.
  • Of the 21 Saudi trainees being tossed out of the program, were these filmers among them?
  • So we had 15 Saudi trainees at NAS Pensacola alone trafficking in kiddie porn? That seems like a bit of an epidemic, doesn’t it?
  • Seventeen of these trainees were jihadis? At a single base? This screams out for major reforms to the pre-screening process.
  • The people who run Apple are scum, plain and simple. Refusing to assist this investigation despite the existence of a court order is indefensible.

At any rate, it’s wonderful that Mr. Barr and his plodding DOJ finally got around to telling us what we knew from the beginning: that this atrocity, like so many others, was motivated by Islam. But the rest of this statement raises more questions than it provides satisfactory answers.

Just another day at the D.O.J.

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

16 thoughts on “WATCH/READ: William Barr’s Disturbing Statement on the NAS Pensacola Atrocity

  1. Cynthia - January 14, 2020

    Sounds like the DOJ is tippy-toeing around this. Why would that be . . .?

  2. DennyOR - January 14, 2020

    To me your criticisms of the investigation are unjustified.

    1. David Blackmon - January 14, 2020

      You are welcome to provide details of your concerns.

  3. Jimmy MacAfee - January 14, 2020

    The Barr is lowering himself.

    Wonder why the DOH continues to stonewall on things like the spying on Sharyl Attkisson? Why is Barr not forcing the FBI to provide one of the main accusers against Michael Flynn? (He’s as available as Ghislaine the Ghoul, who only shows up to visit with Tiny Mike!) The Saudi issue is not as big as the other things he’s not doing.

    As far as the students’ use of kiddie-pics, even one or two would result in prosecution for ordinary Americans. But consider that a 9 year old was part of their religion’s founder’s stable of brides, and that child-marriage is now accepted among Salafists, and that in Assghanistan, forced buggery against boys is also acceptable, you can see that the well of hypocrisy and sin is very deep. (No wonder pope Nimrod likes them so much!)

    The earth is full of corruption. Didn’t expect Barr to lower himself, though.

  4. henryandstuff - January 14, 2020

    The Supreme Court judged unreasonable search and seizure as a Constitutional right to privacy. Public Key Encryption and Apple Computer protect our right to privacy.

    1. Jimmy MacAfee - January 14, 2020

      These are not American citizens; they have no Constitutional rights.

    2. phineas gage - January 14, 2020

      This topic is going to return to SCOTUS soon–in the era of smart phones and terrorism, there will have to be some accommodation made.

      To paraphrase Robert Jackson, ‘the Constitution is not a suicide pact’.

  5. newbarnquillan - January 14, 2020

    Arrest the CEO of Apple Inc. Now. Today.

  6. ray162 - January 14, 2020

    Mr. Barr would have us believe that his shiftless FBI bureaucrats are doing their jobs. If true the Saudis would be trained in Saudi Arabia and never set foot in USA. Had they read the Koran the FBI would know that every Muslim is obliged to kill non Muslims. Fortunately only the few educated Muslims can read the Koran. Thus any Muslim who can read is a threat.

  7. Jonesy - January 14, 2020

    It seems that our “special” relationship with SA is getting in the way of doing the right thing. We have too much money, equipment, and “diplomatic capital” tied up with them to do anything meaningful here, because of mideast
    peace and Iran, or something.. The reaction/punishment is very narrow, kicking out the most egregious offenders, but as mentioned above, will the program be reformed to prevent this in the future? There are echoes of Ft. Hood here (flags missed). In addition to the ties I mentioned, the simple reality that muslims are the ones that perpetrate these kinds of attacks will ensure that it happens again. Its only a matter of time. Our willingness to accept them as partners comes at a price, which our leaders seem willing to pay.

    -Reform the program and get really picky about who is let in.
    -No gun rights for any foreigners, period. They want to go on a hunt here or shoot recreationally (as some do because they can’t at home), fine – they need to have a sponsor with them at all times. They can buy nothing.
    -Get real about the religion – it guides their actions in all things….account for that.

    1. Jimmy MacAfee - January 14, 2020

      If Persia can be given back to the people, then we won’t see so many wars in the region, and Hamas and Hezbollah will die of starvation; Saudi Arabia is always terrified of Iran (not Persia.)

  8. Gregg - January 14, 2020

    So, we want to be able to get into the personal Apple phone encryption key via a court order based on probable cause?

    Didn’t we go through this similar invasion of privacy with the year long (1 application and three renewals) Carter Page FISA search warrants?

    I’ll have to side with Apple’s privacy commitment to its’ customers until the DOJ/FBI/CIA/IC/Supreme Court totally reform all warrant issuing courts including the FISC. This (encryption key privacy) should only apply for constitutionally protected American Citizens of which these guest “students” are/were not. And that includes revoking the shield of “Diplomatic Immunity” from the numerous non-citizen “Diplomats” occupying space in our country.

    1. David Blackmon - January 14, 2020

      My view is that, when we have a clear case of terrorism on U.S. soil, and there are likely to be accomplices of the perp still at large, then any company that wants to do business in America should be willing to cooperate with investigators. I am not a fan of the surveillance/spying state, but this is a special circumstance.

      1. Jimmy MacAfee - January 14, 2020

        I think the request to Apple is mainly for legal purposes – they can break the codes without Apple. But in courts, the evidence(s) can be viewed as “fruit of the poisonous tree.” IN other words, if the data is found without consent, it may weaken the case. What they need to do is to ask Prince Salmon for the codes, which he will no doubt obtain with ease. Not ease for the students, but for his interrogator.

        Surely he has reason to cooperate, because he has been trying to end the Salafist terrorism, supposedly.

        FISA was supposed to codify certain (similar) things, but has been entirely corrupted.

        When FISC comes up for review, don’t be surprised to see DeClass, and the offensive program terminated. That still won’t help Sharyl Attkisson, whose computer had a break-in, supposedly ordered by Rod “snake man” Rosenstein, without a FISA warrant. (FISA: don’t leave home without it)

        The FISC judges need to be held accountable for their participatory crimes.

      2. Gregg - January 14, 2020

        Very much agree Dave. But I want to see the whole FISA Search Warrant and Surveillance process changed and made squeaky clean. This is another ramification of the Dem led corrupting of so many of our sacred institutions which began during the BJ Clinton administration and almost irreparably exploded during the One’s administration, much of which continues to this day.

        PDJT MUST fix this and soon! If Barr, Roberts, Haskell, and Wray, et al, don’t or won’t get this corruption weeded out and punished from our upper levels of government ASAP then we are ultimately doomed as a free republic regardless whether or not Apple cooperates.

        The only reason I side (very lightly) with Apple in this case, is because I don’t trust the government AT ANY LEVEL to do the right thing. I’m very much a libertarian in this respect. I could be wrong, but the way I understand it, if Apple were to give the government access their Key, then it would open up every one of their devices to relatively simple cracking programs and everyone’s device could then be subject to “government monitoring”. Sort of like what happened when the allies got an “Enigma” machine in WWII; the Germans could, and did, frequently change their coding process, but the allies had the key to unlock it in a very short period of time.

        This reminds me of when CNN, their imbeds, and probably other MSM organizations, refused to be debriefed by the Pentagon post Desert Storm; they might have had valuable information on our enemies and were not compelled to be debriefed.

        Also, given the fact that Washington, DC leaks like a sieve, how could Apple be assured that its proprietary system would only be used for its proper law enforcement purpose and not leaked to its’ competition and/or foreign nations for, oh, say a generous contribution to a Clinton type “charity foundation”?

        Finally, seeing how we have had so many intelligence failures with our “premier law enforcement agency” and other IC agencies repeatedly failing to “connect the dots” on things like the spate of recent school shootings, and the government also makes so many other policy “mistakes” regarding our “allies”, I don’t see our government, whose number one duty is to protect it’s citizens, actually doing anything significant with any additional intel/info gleaned from this new tool for their “toolbox”.

        The only thing denying them this tool (which admittedly could be a vital opportunity to thwart another 9-11) could do is give them a reasonably cogent argument to explain away their next failure.

        A very vexing problem indeed: Protecting society, while safeguarding personal privacy and liberty.

  9. Joe R. - January 14, 2020

    At least we didn’t get any of that usual pant load: “We knew of the shooter.” “We had people make prior contact with the shooter”, “We were monitoring the shooter”. . .

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