Tags: waltz | shootings | al-Qaida | pensacola

Rep. Waltz: Better Vetting, Tech Cooperation Key in Preventing Shootings

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Rep. Michael Waltz says more cooperation from Apple is key to preventing future attacks in the United States such as last year's al-Qaida-linked shootings at a U.S. military base. (Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 May 2020 08:29 AM

Better vetting of students coming in from overseas and more cooperation from Apple are key to preventing future attacks in the United States such as last year's al-Qaida-linked shootings at a U.S. military base in Florida last year, Rep. Michael Waltz said Tuesday. 

"There are three big points here," the Florida Republican, who has served as a Green Beret, told Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "One is improving the vetting. Two is al-Qaida is still very much dangerous and then three is the role of big tech and working with our law enforcement and our intelligence agencies to get access to these phones when we have these kinds of ongoing plots."

The FBI on Monday said the gunman in the Dec. 6 shootings at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a Saudi Air Force cadet training with the U.S. military, had connected with an al-Qaida operative. Their link was found after federal agents were able to bypass security features on one of the gunman's iPhones but without any help from Apple. 

Waltz said he's introduced legislation, the Secure Bases Act, that creates a special VISA category for students entering the country, and a risk category depending on their country of origin. 

Still, the Saudis must do a better job, as other countries, when sending people to train in the United States, said Waltz. 

"Al-Qaida is still very dangerous," said Waltz. "We can't ignore that piece that they're trying to infiltrate these programs."

In addition, Apple "completely refuses" to work with law enforcement to create a back door into its devices, and that is an issue, said Waltz. 

"We can't have the FBI taking five months to get into their phone," he said. "We just can't have big tech throwing up their hands and saying you guys figure it out. That's not acceptable."

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Better vetting of students coming in from overseas and more cooperation from Apple are key to preventing future attacks in the United States such as last year's al-Qaida-linked shootings at a U.S. military base in Florida last year, Rep. Michael Waltz said Tuesday. 
waltz, shootings, al-Qaida, pensacola
308
2020-29-19
Tuesday, 19 May 2020 08:29 AM
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