US

Pete Hegseth Refuses To Take Down Twitter Messages About Pensacola Shooting

By Victor Westerkamp

Fox and Friends host Pete Hegseth holds his ground and refuses to delete his infamous Twitter message referring to the Pensacola alleged shooter’s manifesto.

“If Twitter can ban me for this, they can ban anyone for anything. I fought terrorists on the battlefield, and now I’m fighting for free speech (and against political correctness) to expose radical Islamist views. People deserve to know. I will not delete the tweet, and plan to fight this,” Hegseth told the Washington Examiner.

Singer Kelly Rowland Visits "Fox And Friends"
Singer Kelly Rowland (2L) is interviewed by co-hosts (L-R) Pete Hegseth, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade during “Fox & Friends” in New York City on March 21, 2016. (Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

Twitter removed Hegseth’s message and suspended his account for violating its anti-terrorism policies which comprise:

  • engaging in or promoting acts on behalf of a terrorist organization or violent extremist group;
  • recruiting for a terrorist organization or violent extremist group;
  • providing or distributing services (e.g., financial, media/propaganda) to further a terrorist organization’s or violent extremist group’s stated goals; and
  • using the insignia or symbols of terrorist organizations or violent extremist groups to promote them.

Reposting a terrorist manifesto would possibly be classified as promoting or providing media intended to further a terrorist organization’s goals, which is a violation of the platform’s policies, leading to an immediate, permanent suspension, according to the Twitter Terms of Service. At the same time, it states that discussion of terrorism for “clearly educational or documentary purposes” is not considered as promoting it.

Several journalists, including “Fox & Friends” host Pete Hegseth, have been suspended from Twitter after posting certain details on the shooter behind the deadly attack at the U.S. Navy base in Pensacola, Florida, Mohammed Alshamrani.

Hegseth, The Post Millennial editor-at-large Andy Ngo, and filmmaker Mike Cernovich were among those whose Twitter accounts have been suspended after posting excerpts of the 21-year-old shooter’s manifesto or alleged social media posts to speculate on his motivation for carrying out the attack, reported The Post Millennial.

The FBI identified the shooter as a Saudi Air Force aviation officer who was training at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola. Alshamrani was a student naval flight officer of Naval Aviation Schools Command.

Pensacola Naval Air Station
A general view of the Pensacola Naval Air Station (Josh Brasted/Getty Images)

Hegseth shared a screenshot from a Twitter account that reportedly belonged to the shooter and said: “The coward posted it just hours before his terrorist attack. This is Islamist terror. No reason to ever mince words. Saudi Arabia must be held to account.”

Cernovich was reportedly also suspended for the same reason, but, meanwhile, his account has been reinstalled, and so has Gno’s after removing the notorious content.

Isabel van Brugen contributed to this article