It was not clear whether the al Qaeda operative directed Alshamrani to carry out the December shooting, which killed three U.S. sailors and wounded eight others, the Times reports.
The FBI found that Alshamrani had communicated with an al Qaeda operative who had encouraged the attack, two officials told the Times.
The FBI found evidence linking the gunman in the Pensacola shooting, 2nd Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, to al Qaeda, CNN, The New York Times and The Associated Press reported.
Federal investigators found a link between al Qaeda and the Saudi cadet behind the deadly shooting at a U.S. military base in Florida last year, according to multiple reports on Monday.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack and said they were in touch with Alshamrani, CNN noted.