D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi

Saudi Arabia


Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani opened fire at the Naval Air Station Pensacola. He killed four before he was killed himself.

Now the New York Times reports that six other Saudis were detained after the shooting and three of those six allegedly filmed the shooting as it unfolded in Pensacola.

Some of my readers may remember that I taught In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for over two years about a decade ago. In that period, I lived in Al Khobar, Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Baha.

My stay in Al Baha was potentially the most dangerous. I lived at a gas station along a road called the Highway of Death. It was not because of road accidents it earned this name; although, our bus did lose its breaks coming down a mountain and the driver in panic jumped out the door. It was because most of the 911 terrorists came from this area. We were told not to hitchhike, but that did not stop me and a few others as that was the only way into the city about 17 kilometers away. A Yemenese terrorist was arrested at gun point with shots fired only about 300 yards away from me as I was shopping.

With respect to Riyadh or the capital some of my finest students and best friends were officers in the Air Force. I miss them dearly. They were very special.

In Al Khobar, I would run along the Cornishe. I was chased by someone who jumped into his car and followed me. I lost him when I ran into the desert. About a block away from where we lived I believe there had been a police station which had been bombed by terrorists before we arrived. Also, the British bus carrying teachers which we followed in our bus was hit by a bullet on its way to Dammam.

In Jeddah, I taught at the Naval Base. Of course, I needed special clearance before I was hired. I taught naval students according to the program of the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC). It is undoubtedly the most comprehensive and well structured English program that I have ever encountered. While the students were not of the calibre of the Air Force; nevertheless, they were preparing to become helicopter pilots.

The air force filmed my training program on a hot, humid Jeddah night. It surprised me. One may assume that my self-discipline surprised them. They threw up a flare and a helicopter appeared. Close by they had set up a camera about 20 feet away from me. For two hours they recorded my program. It included two bricks in each hand, flying mares at a concrete wall, punches through the lattice of a gate, hundreds of kicks, thousands of punches, speed runs and finished with a long distance run. They saw only one night. I practiced and prepared every night. At other times, in Riyadh, I practiced at high noon for one and a half hours with temperatures of 45 degrees celsius with no humidity. At Al Baha, I practiced in freezing conditions without shirt in the mountains. My goal was always to win a fight in less than two minutes or be able to defeat an opponent after one hour of brawling under any conditions.

The naval students were motivated in a way which my civilian students were not. While all students are paid to go to school the naval students had an extra incentive. If they passed the course they would be sent to training at an airfield in Texas to become helicopter pilots. If they failed the course they would be assigned to Pakistan where they would be in great danger.

I didn't notice any extremism among the naval students. However, I was aware of some signs of extremism among the teachers who were both Saudi and American. It is an open question if these teachers might have affected or infected students with their views. The particular form of extremism was the Black Muslim Brotherhood.