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WaPo Completely Buries Ideology of Naval Air Station Pensacola Terrorist

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, file

The Washington Post sanitized its reporting about the terrorist who shot up a classroom at the Naval Air Station Pensacola last week, killing three and injuring eight others, waiting until the very last paragraph of the story to reveal that he embraced radical Islam.


In the 19-paragraph report, the alleged shooter, Ahmed Mohammed al-Shamrani, is said “to have embraced radical ideology as early as 2015" – but the reader is given no identifying information about that ideology.  

The second paragraph then discusses al-Shamrani’s Twitter account, where he posted a manifesto describing how “America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil." The author says he was influenced by "religious figures" among others, but again, we are not told which religion or any specifics. Emphasis mine:

According to the internal report, a Twitter account believed to have been used by indicates that four religious figures described as radical appear to have shaped the Saudi Air Force trainee’s “extremist thought.” A copy of the report was obtained by The Washington Post. [...]

But later “his tweets and retweets demonstrate his radicalization in late 2015,” the report found, after he began following a series of influential figures, including Saudi nationals Abdulaziz Al-Turaifi and Ibrahim Al-Sakran, Kuwaiti Hakim Al-Mutairi, and Jordanian Eyad Qunaibi.


Anyone reading the story can piece the information together themselves fairly quickly and easily, but that makes it all the more puzzling. Why not come out and say he was influenced by radical Islam from the beginning? As some Twitter users noted, if he were a white supremacist it probably would have been in the headline.

The Pentagon announced Tuesday it suspended flight training of more than 850 Saudi students as a result of last week's attack.

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