WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott released the below statement following the announcement by Attorney General William Barr and the FBI that the Saudi military trainee who killed three U.S. sailors and wounded several others in the terrorist attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola on December 6th, 2019 was in touch with a suspected al Qaeda operative. After the attack, Senator Scott called for a hard reset of the program and for all Saudi nationals training in the U.S. to be sent home until the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) completed a thorough review of the program.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Today’s announcement confirmed our worst fears – the NAS Pensacola attack was an act of terror on American soil. And it confirms that 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. Congress needs to pass my Secure U.S. Bases Act, which will make sure foreign military students training at U.S. bases are thoroughly vetted and monitored, and that our troops are protected and never have to experience a tragedy like this again.”
Senators Rick Scott and Joni Ernst introduced the Secure U.S. Bases Act, which requires a thorough vetting process before a foreign student enters the U.S.; creates a special, limited visa for foreign students; and establishes a review process so that DOD is not operating training programs in the U.S. that would be better operated abroad.