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Pentagon chief: Cannot label naval base shooting in Florida as "terrorism"

WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (KUNA) -- US Pentagon chief Mark Esper said that he cannot label the shooting at the navy base in Pensacola, Florida as "terrorism," calling it a "tragic incident." At the Reagan National Defense Forum in California Saturday, Esper said "no, I can't say it's terrorism at this time." "I think we need to let the investigators, the FBI do its work, and get us the facts, and we'll move out from there," he added.
He indicated that on Friday, he directed "that we look at our security precautions across the services and all of our installations and bases and facilities to make sure that we got the appropriate degree of security to protect our service members and their families and our communities." "At the same time, I also directed that we look at our vetting procedures within DoD (Department of Defense) for all the many foreign nationals that come, for good reason, to our country to train," he remarked.
For his part, President Donald Trump told reporters earlier Saturday as he was leaving for South Florida "we're finding out what took place, whether it's one person or a number of people." "It's a very shocking thing," he stressed. "We'll find out, we'll get to the bottom of it very quickly." He added, "I guess we're going to have to look into the whole procedure. We'll start that immediately." Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that he spoke with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud "who expressed his condolences and sadness at the loss of life in the horrific attack in Pensacola, Florida." (end) si.mb