Saudi gunman posted that countdown has started on September 11

Saudi Air Force 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani posted disturbing messages

The Saudi military member gunman who killed three U.S. sailors at Naval Air Station Pensacola posted disturbing messages on social media months before the attack, according to a law enforcement assessment.

‘The countdown has started,’ was the cryptic message posted by Saudi Air Force 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani on September 11, 2019, according to a Joint Intelligence Bulletin reported by ABC News.

The 21-year-old Saudi national also defended jihad on social media and referred to non-Muslims as ‘infidels’, according to the report.

The bulletin, which was issued by the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, National Counterterrorism Center and the Defense Intelligence Agency, also revealed chilling new details of the attack. 

The scene of the shooting in a classroom building at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Dec. 7

The scene of the shooting in a classroom building at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Dec. 7

The shooting lasted 15 minutes, during which Alshamrani fired 180 rounds from his legally purchased Glock 9mm handgun with an extended magazine, the report said.

Shooter’s disturbing manifesto 

The now-deactivated Twitter account purportedly belonging to Alshamrani included:

– A variety of anti-Israel postings and a quote from deceased al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden

– A lengthy manifesto posted at 4:39am  Friday, less than two hours the shooting. The manifesto read in part:

 I’m against evil, and America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil.

‘I’m not against you for just being American, I don’t hate you because [of] your freedoms, I hate you because every day you [are] supporting, funding and committing crimes not only against Muslims, but also humanity….

Some of those shots were fired directly at a portrait of President Donald Trump, as well as a former president who was not named in the report.

The shooting is being investigated under the presumption that it was an act of terrorism, and signs of Alshamrani’s apparent radicalization have previously been reported.

Just prior to the attack, he reportedly posted a manifesto praising 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. ‘I’m against evil, and America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil,’ he wrote in the manifesto.

Days before the shooting, Alshamrani reportedly hosted three fellow Saudi military students at a dinner party where they watched videos of mass shootings.

Also, investigators believe the gunman visited New York City, including Rockefeller Center and the 9/11 museum, days before the shooting and are working to determine the purpose of the trip, the official said. 

Investigators are digging into whether he acted alone, and detained the three dinner party guests after the shooting – one of whom was allegedly filming outside the building.   

Killed in the attack were Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, a 23-year-old graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy; Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, of St. Petersburg, Florida, who joined the Navy after graduating from high school last year; and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21, of Richmond Hill, Georgia. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the investigation was proceeding under ‘the presumption that this was an act of terrorism’and he called for better vetting of foreigners allowed into the U.S. for training on American bases.

Speaking at a news conference Sunday afternoon, DeSantis also said the gunman had a social media trail and a ‘deep-seated hatred of the United States.’

He said he thought such an attack could have been prevented with better vetting.

‘You have to take precautions’ to protect the nation, DeSantis said.

‘To have this individual be able to take out three of our sailors, to me that´s unacceptable,’ the governor added.

The U.S. has long had a robust training program for Saudis, providing assistance in the U.S. and in the kingdom. More than 850 Saudis are in the United States for various training activities. 

They are among more than 5,000 foreign students from 153 countries in the U.S. going through military training.