WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott called for a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, with a classified session if necessary, with U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies, as well as military leaders, to examine the failures in the vetting of foreign nationals training on U.S. military bases.
Senator Rick Scott said, “The terrorist attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola was entirely preventable. It’s clear that there were failures in the vetting of this individual. What’s not clear is how the vetting process works, who does the vetting, and how much we’re able to monitor foreign nationals training in the U.S. We need to seriously reconsider the value of training foreign nationals on U.S. military bases, but in the meantime, it’s important that we get to the bottom of what went wrong so we can figure out how to improve the vetting process.”
Senator Scott is requesting a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with leaders from the FBI, Departments of State and Defense, and U.S. intelligence agencies in attendance to answer the following questions:
- There are many agencies involved in this program; who is ultimately responsible for ensuring the safety and security of our men and women in uniform?
- Do U.S. law enforcement or intelligence agencies perform the vetting of foreign nationals training on U.S. military bases, or do we outsource that to the home country?
- What process was used to vet the terrorist who committed this attack at NAS Pensacola?
- What countries participate in this program and what is the strategic significance of these relationships?
- Do participants of this program have to provide fingerprints, and are they interviewed/ background checked during the visa process?
- What is the rate of visa denial/approval for participants of this program?
- Is there any reason why the training of foreign nationals can’t occur in their home country?
- Are U.S. law enforcement or intelligence agencies allowed to track the social media accounts of foreign nationals training, or seeking to train, on U.S. military bases?
- Did this individual go through a standard background check before purchasing a handgun?
- Once a foreign national arrives in the U.S., do American intelligence agencies continue to monitor their activities?