Rob Smith: Media Ignore Al Qaeda Ties of Pensacola Terrorist

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 06: A general view of the atmosphere at the Pensacola Naval Air Station main gate following a shooting on December 06, 2019 in Pensacola, Florida. The second shooting on a U.S. Naval Base in a week has left three dead plus the suspect and seven people …
Josh Brasted/Getty Images

Politicians engaging in petty, partisan politics; “Resistance” journalists obsessed with gaining a social media moment out of a Trump confrontation; and conservative influencers who wrap themselves in the flag have somehow missed one of the biggest bombshells to drop during National Military Appreciation Month.

The Saudi Arabian Air Force national training on a U.S. military base who killed three American soldiers last year was, in fact, a terrorist.

It’s now official, since the attacker has documented ties to Al Qaeda that the FBI found after breaking the encryption on his iphone.

The implications of this are huge. Not only does this development deserve to cast even further aspersions on the program that allows foreign nationals to engage in military training on American soil (5,181 foreign students from 153 countries, according to the Department of Defense), but there is now documented proof that continuing this practice will continue to put American soldiers in danger of losing their lives to terror.

Americans like 23-year-old Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 19-year-old Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and 21-year-old Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters.

It would seem like quite a huge story during National Military Appreciation Month in the week before Memorial Day, yet it has been virtually “crickets” from both mainstream media and conservative outlets.

Why? Is it because our media is too busy with their Trump Derangement Syndrome to give this story the attention it deserves? Is it because those in power right now would rather engage in reckless and petty attacks on one another than to honor the memory of the soldiers lost by attempting to reform the program that allowed a terrorist to train on a U.S. Military base in the first place?

Is it because for too many people on BOTH sides of the political aisle, “supporting the troops” has become a meaningless buzzword to be thrown around on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day?

It’s all of the above, and it’s outrageous.

As Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) said at the time of the attack:

“There is no reason we should be providing state-of-the-art military training to people who wish us harm, and most importantly, there is no reason to risk the safety and security of our American men and women in uniform. We must be vigilant against those who wish our country and our people harm.” 

That vigilance comes in multiple forms. It’s the vigilance that people in power like Sen. Scott and Governor Ron DeSantis (R) wield when, in Scott’s case, he makes a public statement like that and for Gov. DeSantis, when he used his connections with President Donald Trump to shine light on the issue to the most powerful man in the world.

For those of us who maybe don’t have that much power, it’s important to elevate the issue because so many of the lives of our brave American soldiers are at risk when a program allows them to be placed in harms way next to foreign nationals who may have an allegiance to radical Islam. 

For this development and with it the lives of these bold and brave Americans to be ignored while politicians snipe at each other is shameful. We could all do much better, especially during National Military Appreciation Month.

If we as conservatives are serious about supporting the troops, we should honor the memory of those lost while doing everything in our power to ensure that we don’t lose any more in that way.

And that’s on Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and the other 363 days of the year.  

Rob Smith is an Iraq War Veteran, Political Commentator, and Contributor with Turning Point USA. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @robsmithonline


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