On May 21, 2020, Navy Security Forces (NSF) responded to an active shooter at Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi in Texas at 7:15 AM. After the attacker was neutralized, it was determined that the only casualty was one NSF sailor that had sustained minor injuries when responding to the incident. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has determined that the attack was terrorism-related and believes that a related person of interest remains at large.
The shooter, identified as Adam Alsahli, was extremely active on social media, possessing multiple Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Snapchat accounts. From a brief analysis, it appears as though he repeatedly publicly demonstrated support for hardliner Saudi clerics. In contrast to previous lone-wolf islamist attackers, however, he did not post a will or manifesto. The only statement seeming to indicate his impending martyrdom can be found on his last Facebook post, "all the sins of a martyr are forgiven except debt." There does not appear to be any connection or reference to the Islamic State or Al-Qaeda on these accounts.
In Washington, a spokesman for the Department of Justice announced that its counterterrorism division was working alongside the FBI and local law enforcement to investigate the event and potential connections to international terror organizations.
NAS Corpus Christi is home to four squadrons of Training Air Wing Four, a training unit for the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and foreign student pilots. Additionally, the installation encompasses the Corpus Christi Army Depot, a maintenance depot for Department of Defense rotary-wing aircraft, and a hanger for US Customs and Border Protection Service aircraft. Although the shooting temporarily halted activity at the station, it does not appear as though the incident will have a major impact on the base's operations in the long term.
Today's events at NAS Corpus Christi marked the third such shooting to occur at a naval installation in the past six months. On December 4, 2019, a sailor killed two and wounded a third at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard before killing himself. On December 6, a 2nd Lieutenant from the Royal Saudi Air Force killed three sailors and wounded several others at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.
In response to the shooting, the Department of Defense has vowed to increase security and screening measures at all installations across the country within two weeks.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Army, Department of Defense, or the United States Government.