Former Lakewood High track star Mohammed "Mo" Haitham surprised his family in St. Petersburg, Fla., by showing up for Thanksgiving. The 19-year-old Navy airman won't be there for Christmas. He was one of three sailors killed Friday at the Naval Air Station Pensacola by a Saudi Air Force officer undergoing flight training at the base.
The tragedy raises serious questions about security on U.S. military installations and the arrangements for hosting foreign nationals in American military settings.
Investigators are trying to establish whether 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani of the Royal Saudi Air Force acted alone or as part of a conspiracy in Friday's rampage.
While authorities have not suggested a motive, the FBI said it is investigating the attack under the presumption it was an act of terrorism. The few details released so far include several troubling events involving Alshamrani preceding the attack.
The Trump administration should insist on a full accounting from the Saudis as it reviews the vetting process for foreign military training. A 19-year-old Navy airman from St. Petersburg should not be at risk of being killed at a base in his home state by a member of another country's armed forces.
Editorial on 12/12/2019
Print Headline: Answers, please