‘Worst fears confirmed’: Rick Scott redoubles post-Pensacola call for terror safeguards
Then Florida Gov. Rick Scott participates in a panel discussion during the Republican Governors Association annual conference Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)

Rick Scott
Scott wants to mitigate 'unnecessary' risk.

The latest act of Saudi terror against an American national will be the last if Sen. Rick Scott has anything to say about it.

The first-term Republican from Naples was not surprised by an FBI announcement Monday that a Saudi military trainee who killed Americans had Al Qaeda links.

“Today’s announcement confirmed our worst fears – the NAS Pensacola attack was an act of terror on American soil,” the Senator asserted.

The gunman, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, was learning how to fly at the Panhandle base, or so the story went. He killed three American sailors and injured eight more.

The Senator says “now is the time to take action to correct the unnecessary risk revealed by this attack.”

“This terrorist should never have been allowed in our country, let alone on an American military base with easy access to American military men and women,” Scott said, advocating his Secure U.S. Bases Act, which would ensure that potentially hostile foreign soldiers are “vetted and monitored.”

Scott has support for this bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, where Northeast Florida Congressman Mike Waltz is working on legislation.

“This is why we need enhanced vetting of foreign nationals and a review of our military programs in the U.S., so attacks like this never happen again,” Waltz said.

The U.S./Saudi relationship has been fraught with intrigue and recurrent losses of American life.

While the atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001 are the most vivid examples of Saudis engaged in a conspiracy to take the lives of American citizens, the mass murder in Pensacola was a grim reminder of how the lethal whims of individual Saudis can veer sharply from the Kingdom’s officially pro-American position.

For his part, Scott has been consistent in his messaging on the Pensacola terror.

In the wake of the December 2019 shooting, the Senator called for training programs to halt for foreign soldiers. He also pushed to end gun-free zones on military bases.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]



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