Saturday, November 16, 2002

Mir Aimal Kasi
November 14, 2002


Last Meal: fried rice, bananas, boiled eggs and wheat bread.

The skinny: Kasi, a Pakistani Muslim militant, was executed for the 1993 shooting deaths of two CIA workers. He killed the two and wounded three others as they sat in their cars outside agency headquarters in a Virginia suburb of Washington. Kasi walked along a row of stopped cars, shooting into them with a semiautomatic AK-47 rifle. He then fled to southern Afghanistan and later to Pakistan, where U.S. agents arrested him in 1997. Kasi confessed to the slayings during the return flight, saying he was angry over CIA meddling in Muslim nations.

Last words: Kasi softly chanted "There is no god but Allah," in his native tongue until he kicked.

Machinations denied: Governor Warner said Kasi admitted to the murders and had showed no remorse. He said the death penalty is the appropriate punishment in this case.

PEEVED PAKIS: Tribal leaders in Quetta, Kasi's hometown, called for a strike Friday.

Pakistani politicians pleaded with American officials to spare Kasi's life, saying commutation could "win the hearts of millions" and help the United States in its war on terrorism. Hundreds of religious students protested in Pakistan this week, warning Americans there that they will not be safe if Kasi was executed.

Last week, the State Department warned that Kasi's execution could lead to acts of vengeance against Americans everywhere. Two days after his conviction, assailants shot and killed four American oil company workers in Karachi, Pakistan.

87 Killers, How Many Victims? About 80 death penalty opponents held a candlelight vigil in a field near the prison. Bundled against the cold, they read the names of the 87 people Virginia has executed since capital punishment was reinstated in 1982, along with their victims. A Muslim cleric read a prayer in English and Arabic.

Kudos to the Post: For an fascinating article on the search for Kasi, visit The Washington Post.

A Highlight:

Kasi, who carried 150 rounds of ammunition that day, was aiming only at men -- he believed killing women, who did not have any power in his country, would be wrong. He stopped firing only because there was no one left to shoot.