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Aimal Kansi's Execution

14 November, 2002

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On 25 January 1993, Mir Aimal Kansi , a Pakistani living in the US since 1991, stood waiting near the gate of the CIA's 258 acre headquarters in Langley. He was looking for two CIA agents and obviously knew his men. He spotted the car carrying the targets and went to it when it halted at the stop light on Dolly Madison Boulevard, barely 500 yards from the main gate. He pulled out a AK-47 assault rifle and shot the men inside, spared a woman passenger and sped away. His victims were Lansing C. Bennet, who was described in a Washington Post story as a "physician and intelligence analyst for the CIA", and Frank Darling, who was "assigned to tasks involving covert operations. Three others inside were ermanently injured, also identified as CIA agents. The next day Ansi was reported to have fled to Pakistan from the National Airport. His whereabouts were not known for years and the FBI did not got any information on him despite offering the largest reward ever - US $ 2 million - for any information leading to his arrest.

Who was Kansi and why did he kill the two CIA operatives? The answers are still not clear. Some have suggested that he was an Iranian agent; others say he was a CIA operative betrayed by the men who later became his victims. The big question is how he got into the US and how he got out despite a full alert. His Pakistani passport had expired in March 1992 and according to Pakistani officials had not been renewed. What did he travel on? Aimal Kansi's life in the US also had its mysterious aspects. On arrival in March 1991 - on a business visa - he sought asylum, claiming that he was persecuted in Pakistan for supporting the Balochi separatist cause. Not only did he get permission to stay but also got a job with Excel Courier Inc. on a salary of $700 a week, an unusual windfall for one with limited qualification. The company is owned by Chris Marchetti, son of Victor Marchetti, a former CIA official who had once been an aide to its Director, Richard Helms. The Kansi family lives in Quetta, a city from where the CIA had engaged in covert operations during the Afghan war years. Apart from anything else, the Kansi case suggests that there is a network within the US capable of helping men like Kansi to flee justice after committing a heinous crime.

Fugitive at Large

Kansi is reported to have flown to Karachi from Washington D.C., and from there to his home town, Quetta, the capital of the Balochistan Province in Pakistan. In Quetta, he went home, had a meal with his family, and subsequently disappeared without an apparent trace. From time to time he was reported to have been spotted but nobody could get a fix on him. In 1994 January, a Pakistani correspondent claimed that he had met Kansi in Sehwan in Sindh. The correspondent, who happened to be in Sehwan for a visit, saw a clean-shaven, fair and tall person and said he recognised him immediately as Aimal Kansi. Pictures of Kansi have appeared on wanted posters all over the world. Between puffs of hashish, the person said that he was in the transport business in Karachi; but refused to give his residential address in that city. Kansi was apparaently very impressed by the quality of the hashish available in Sehwan. After this chance encounter Kansi disappeared from the hotel and was never seen again.

The Arrest

According to the Washington Post, "Government officials said U.S. investigators, working with Pakistani military and intelligence officials, launched at least one operation to lure Kansi across the mountain passes from Afghanistan into a trap. In the end, judging from the FBI's and CIA's statement saying that "Afghan individuals" had delivered up Kansi, it appeared on Tuesday night that word of a rich reward for Kansi's capture had reached a tribal leader in Afghanistan.

"Federal investigators have said in interviews over the last three years that they still do not know the source of the rage against the United States. They said it might have to do with the death of his father, or his uncle -- a Pakistani government official killed in an 1984 ambush in Quetta -- or a friend who had fought with the CIA-backed rebels in Afghanistan. But they noted that Kansi is a member of the Pathan tribe, which flourishes on both sides of the Kyhber Pass linking Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that an old Pathan saying states that 100 years is too short a time to wait for revenge."

Do you think his execution could be justified ?

Reader Comments:

I think if he has really taken the law into his own hands and murdered human beings, then he deserves some punishment. However, it's still not clear whether he was given a fair chance to fight in American court

Lately, we have witnessed that American justice system is not as balanced as it used to be, specially after September 11th. They are keeping the emotions of American people into consideration while giving any verdict, even at the cost of innocence!


Naeem Sarwar, Pakistan - 14 November, 2002

Now when Mr Kansi has said in his last interview with BBC that he was neither an agent of any secret service, nor belongs to Bin Laden's Alqaeda. He only killed the Americans because of US policies towards the muslims. Couple of weeks back I was surprised to see a news item in The News's international page, that CIA failed to understand why hate against USA has been increased all over the world and for me it was joke of the day.

Kenny, Pakistan - 14 November, 2002

Kansi's "sin" was not that he killed. It is who he killed that caused a problem for the US government. In this case, two members of the world's most brutal and powerful secret service, the CIA -- a secret service that has carried out atrocities in all corners of the world.

It is very ironic that only one week before Kansi was executed for murder, the CIA planned and executed the barbaric and cowardly murder of 5 yemenis and 1 US citizen with a hellfire missle in Yemen (no trial, no concern for innocent lives). Yet many in America consider the CIA as heroes.

Gul Jaan Ahmad, United Kingdom - 15 November, 2002

What kansi did in 1993 is one of those secrets which is never revealed, there is more to it than just killing. His famlily is said to have helped CIA in the Afghan war and as a reward he ended up in the United States, what followed thereafter remains to be an enigma, he did not kill randomly it was planned and there was something deep at the back of it all.

As far as the justification of execution is concerned,its a legal matter and can be swung either way with arguments and counter-arguments.

His extradition was illegal in the first place, this makes his extradition a case of kidnapping. But then again killing of someone cannot be justified with out any cause,even if it was revenge.

Irfan Yusufzai, United Kingdom - 15 November, 2002

It was once true that American justice was blind, but recently we see murderers freed through legal mumbo jumbo and innocent people incarcerated.

Everyday there are cases. I do not favor the death penalty, it is nothing more than state sponsored killing. However, Kansi did kill and confessed to killing and was held acountable. In this instance Justice did work, but boy it certainly is a rarity.

Daryl Moistner, United Kingdom - 15 November, 2002

Don't put Afghans as bad guys, you people did everything, even created opportunities for Kansi to go and kill Americans.

Foreign Office, Afghanistan - 15 November, 2002

I'm glad the terrorist--who confessed to the crime and showed no remorse-- was killed. He deserves it, since if he ever escapes he will kill again. There can be no sympathy for a cold blooded murderer who killed with no sympathy for innocent people he massacred.

How can Pakistan expect mercy for merciless killers of Americans? How would Pakistanis feel if Americans went to Pakistan and murdered your brother or father because they don't like your policies?? This is a fascist, murderous and racist idea, and the comments here from Pakistanis slandering the victim country is also disgraceful.

R. Imbir, United Kingdom - 15 November, 2002

One thing which I think a infant child will understand by all these incidents that THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG IN OUR FOREIGN POLICY but US Govt didn't.
This is the country which brought most destruction on earth & killed innocense people (HeroShima & NagaSaki Bombing) & still they called themselves Champion of Human rights.What a Shame

ASEEM, United Kingdom - 15 November, 2002

Kansi killed two human being and later made up story of his protest over US Middle East policies. He preferred life sentence for himself compared to death penalty but took life of two other human beings. Never felt remorse about what wrong he had done.
I don't think so this is what Islam teaches us as a religion.
People in Pakistan protest over Kansi should look inside Pakistan first.

Tanveer Khan, Pakistan - 16 November, 2002

I think that justice should prevail.
An eye for an eye and blood for blood.
.....Yet forgiving is the trait of the exalted ones.....

Hunzaie, Pakistan - 16 November, 2002

he deserved it but received a surgical humane death. Had he been convicted in Saudi Arabia, his head would have been severed. I dont see Pakistani People out in the streets when their country men are beheaded for lesser or no crimes in Saudi Arabia. People wake up and smell the coffee!

Sheikh, United Kingdom - 16 November, 2002

And finally Aimal Kansi was executed by a lethal injection in Virginia State where lots of Human Rights Commission and International Justice Organizations are surely operative, but ironically, all of them did nothing to advocate to save the life of a human being...because the victim (Aimal) was reported to have declared in the last moments of life that he would keep doing as he did in 1993 if he was set free.

To be honest, by deporting Aimal Kansi to US by Nawaz Sharif and Yousaf Ramzi by Benazir Bhutto clearly show that we are not an independent and free nation, true Believers either, but Agents working for the vested interests of US on commission basis.

Barkatullah Marwat, Kuwait - 16 November, 2002

Would the US extradite commander Will Rogers of the Vincennes that blew the Iran Air airbus out of the sky over the Persian Gulf on July 3, 1988 killing all 290 people on board? There was no mistake that it was a deliberate act of murder against innocent civilians.

Maria, Pakistan - 17 November, 2002

Let us pray together Mir. Aimal Kansi and may his soul rest in Peace. USA is the most untrustable criminal power and the flag holder of crusaders, as Bush had announced after 11 Sep. The civilization under the mad leaders and military governments will not be able to take breath for a long time this is the formula of the nature and not an emotional slogan. Kasi would be remembered as one of the millions of muslims who are facing american aggression.:)

Farhat Hussain, Pakistan - 18 November, 2002

Kansi was a 'NUR PASHTOON'. He killed someone for revenge. He didn't follow hypocrisy to save his life. He confessed what he had done. He was clear about his stand till his last breath. He must be remembered as a Bold Person and must be respected. He doesn't need any recomendation from religions and from sold-out countrymen. May Allah keep his soul in peace. Amin.

Waqar Khan, Pakistan - 18 November, 2002

Pakistan has capital punishment so Pakistani's dont have a right to complain about American capital punishment to Kasi.

Kasi murdered two innocent people in a pre-meditated fashion and justly deserved the death penalty and is absolutely no hero of mine.

I blame the illiterate people who follow illiterate Mullah leaders which is like the blind leading the blind.

I thank Gen. Musharaf for the graduation standard for politicians, unfortunately fake degress are easy to obtain. Until we take the blame of our own evils on ourselves and stop blaming US and Zionists for everything, we will never be able to progress.

Tariq Shah, United Kingdom - 18 November, 2002

The USA has still not learnt from the lessons given to them on the fateful day of September 11. History is now going to repeat itself, unfortunately for the Americans

Afzhaleem Ulla Khan, Pakistan - 18 November, 2002

We are happy with his Shahadad because
Shaheed never dies. I will say to America that it is the most terrorist contury in the world.

Aik Mujahid, Pakistan - 19 November, 2002

I dont get it. People are calling him a martyr. In my opinion he is a murderer not a martyr. Kansi killed two human being and later made up story of his protest over US Middle East policies… What a joke! Kansi lovers, I am sorry to break the bad news to you, each and every muslim country in the world (yes including the PLO ) gives you guys the lip service while EMBRACES your arch enemy India . This is a fact. Because of your follies and idiotic sense of reasoning, you people are the most isolated people on planet earth today. One thing I will give it to you. He should have been arrested and produced before a magistrate before being wisked away. However those kinds of procedures are performed in real countries.

Farooq, United Kingdom - 19 November, 2002

I am very happy with the shahadet of the
Aimal kasi. He will be remembered by muslims for long time, but that tells Americans that muslims are not afraid of death.

Ajnabi, Pakistan - 19 November, 2002

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