FBI: Shooter at Pensacola base coordinated with al-Qaida

The gunman who killed three U.S. sailors at a military base in Florida last year repeatedly communicated with al-Qaida operatives about planning in the months leading up to the attack, U.S. officials said Monday, as they lashed out at Apple for failing to help them open the shooter’s phones so they could access key evidence.

Law enforcement officials discovered contacts between Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani and operatives of al-Qaida after FBI technicians succeeded on their own in breaking into two cellphones that had previously been locked and that the shooter, a Saudi Air Force officer, had tried to destroy before he was killed by law enforcement.

“We now have a clearer understanding of Alshamrani’s associations and activities in the years, months and days leading up to his attack,” Attorney General William Barr said at a news conference in which he sharply chastised Apple for not helping unlock the phones.

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News Talk Florida Staff