Intel: Why the US is expelling dozens of Saudi military trainees


Washington is expected to expel more than a dozen Saudi military trainees from the United States, CNN reported on Sunday. The expulsions come after a security review found some trainees have alleged ties to extremist movements and others possessed child pornography. The dozens of students represent a tiny fraction of the 850 Saudi military trainees stationed in bases throughout the United States.

Why it matters: The FBI launched a review of all Saudi military students in the country after one trainee, Mohammed Alshamrani, killed three and wounded eight others in a shooting at a Florida naval base last month. CNN reports that the Justice Department is expected to conclude the shooting was an act of terrorism.

What’s next: The Defense Department temporarily suspended Saudi military training programs after urging from Republican lawmakers following the shooting. The pending expulsions could pave the way for the training program to continue.

Know more: Read Pentagon Correspondent Jack Detsch’s report on Saudi Arabia’s role in the investigation of the Florida base shooting.

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Found in: Terrorism

Bryant Harris is Al-Monitor's congressional correspondent. He was previously the White House assistant correspondent for Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's largest newspaper. He has also written for Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera English and IPS News. Prior to his stint in DC, he spent two years as a US Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. On Twitter: @brykharris_ALM, Email:

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