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What are the local and global ties to NAS Corpus Christi attacker

Matt Pierce Briscoe 

Corpus Christi, Texas — While officials remain silent about information surrounding the terror related incident at Corpus Christi Naval Air Station on Thursday, there are now more hints and observations beginning to emerge from the community and from around the world. 

On Friday, officials with Del Mar College confirmed that the gunman, 20 year-old Adam Salim Alsahali, was enrolled at the college in their school of business. A LinkedIn page also indicated that he studied at Umm al-Qura University in Saudi Arabia. However, officials at the University did not confirm that information Saturday. 

Alsahali did mention to other students that his plans included finishing prerequisite classes at Del Mar before transferring to nearby Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to further his studies in business. Texas A&M University had a program in partnership with Umm al-Qura University as a collaborative, focusing on hospitality and tourism management. That partnership began in 2017. The Southside Light has reached out to Texas A&M University Chancellor John Sharpe to confirm details of the program’s current existence. They have yet to respond. However, officials with Umm al-Qura University did confirm that they do maintain a “solid partnership” with Texas A&M University across the system. 

On Thursday night, officials carried out a search warrant in the 4600 block of Greensboro in Corpus Christi. Officials declined to comment on what they may have been searching for and what items were removed from the residence. That residence was also owned by Alsahli’s father’s company in Stafford, Texas. The company also owns several other rental or investment properties throughout the area. 

Sources with the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed on Saturday that the attack appears to be what is known as a De-centralized Model. These types of attacks are generally smaller scale, simple attacks with few participants based on general guidance and  dependent of the individual initiative homegrown violent extremists has prevailed as the model for Islamist terrorism.

A Texas Department of Public Safety report shows that more than 250 Americans, including numerous Texas residents, have been involved in various stages of travel to Syria, including those who attempted but did not go, those who fought, those who died and a small number who returned.

Sources confirmed that while the suspected terrorist likely had communications via common channels as soon as the night before the attack, there is no indication as of Saturday morning that any single group has conclusively claimed responsibility, some experts believe that may signal an even more isolated radicalization, and less of a larger coordination. 

However, authorities who have only once briefly addressed the press, without taking questions, did indicate on Thursday that there is the likelihood of a second person being at large in the community. 

Security experts say that federal officials would have likely already conducted other raids if they were confident in that theory. There had been no further indication of such activity as of Saturday morning. 

Sources with the Department of Justice did confirm on Saturday that the office of National Security Agency has been closely monitoring the situation. There has been some indication that the Office of International Affairs has been involved in the investigation, as well as the ATF, FBI and others. 


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