- The Washington Times - Friday, November 8, 2002

A Pakistani national to be executed next week for killing two CIA employees outside the agency's headquarters in 1993 says he hopes fellow Muslims do not retaliate against Americans when he is put to death.
The State Department on Wednesday issued a worldwide public caution that Aimal Khan Kasi's execution could "trigger retaliatory attacks against American interests overseas."
In an interview from death row yesterday, Kasi told the Associated Press he wasn't surprised by the caution, although he's "not encouraging the attacks against anybody."
"You know, particularly in Pakistan people like me very much," Kasi said. The 38-year-old Muslim is to be executed by injection at 9 p.m. on Nov. 14 at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va.
State Department spokesman Stuart Patt said the government "always tries to alert Americans whenever we think something is going on that might result in some risk to their personal safety. We can't say specifically it's going to happen in any given place. It's really a heads-up alert to American's around the world."
The caution says the government "continues to receive credible indications that extremist groups and individuals are planning additional terrorist actions."
"Terrorist groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets," it adds, citing the recent bomb blast that killed nearly 200 people at a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, a popular party spot for travelers from the United States, Australia and other Western countries.
Kasi has insisted he is not a terrorist and that he worked alone when he opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle outside CIA headquarters in McLean, killing CIA workers Frank Darling, 28, and Lansing Bennet, 66, as they sat in their cars at a stoplight.
Three other men were wounded as Kasi walked along, pumping bullets into a row of stopped cars. "What I did was a retaliation against the U.S. government" for American policy in the Middle East and its support of Israel, Kasi told the Associated Press. "It had nothing to do with terrorism."
During his trial in 1997, prosecutors treated Kasi as if he had acted alone. Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. argued Kasi had no ties to terrorist cells scattered across the country.
But in a rare acknowledgment last year, Mr. Horan said that he may have been wrong. He told The Washington Times that if information which emerged after September 11, 2001 had been available at the time of the trial, Kasi would have been prosecuted as if he had been acting within a terrorism cell.
Mr. Horan said that in late 1990, Kasi made a curious trip to Germany before coming to the United States in 1991, when he settled in Virginia, frequently shifting apartments or staying with friends.
Mohamed Atta, one of the ringleaders of the al Qaeda terrorist network, operated a cell out of Hamburg, Germany, and may have done some of the planning for the September 11 terrorist attacks from there.
While Kasi said yesterday that he did not agree with the attack on the World Trade Center, he refused to condemn the attack on the Pentagon because it "is an agency involved in attacks against Muslim countries."
"I'm not sorry for attacking the CIA," he added. "I feel sorry and sad for the families of the victims. I don't say that I feel happy or proud for it."
He said the attack was not well planned. "One day I went to a gun store and bought a gun. The idea started coming in my mind. So that's how I did it."

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