- The Washington Times - Monday, March 8, 2004

DALLAS — Did Kasinga Kabeya and his wife die in the World Trade Center attack on September 11?

Or, were they the victims of reprisal from their native country, a nation they fled in terror in 1997?

Did they perhaps encounter foul play in some other venue?

Or, are they not dead at all? Some suggest the couple might be living quietly in some big city, possibly even unaware of the controversy surrounding them.

A son says he heard his parents might have gone to Europe.

Mr. Kabeya, the story goes, was an aide to the despot Mobutu Sese Seko, who after 32 years of a brutal reign in Zaire (now Congo), was forced to flee, as revolutionary forces overthrew the government in 1997.

Mr. Kabeya, along with scores of others, felt they must leave or be killed. He obviously made a reasonable case to the U.S. State Department — which allowed him to come to the United States under asylum.

The current saga began shortly after the New York terrorist bombings when Mr. Kabeya’s daughter, Musau “Kiki” Kabeya contacted New York officials and said that her parents had been victims of the attacks.

A few days later, in a visit to the New York Family Assistance Center, she appeared with DNA evidence and explained that her parents had taken a Greyhound bus from Dallas for a week’s sightseeing in New York and she had heard nothing from them since two days before the terrorist attacks.

The two, the daughter said, had been living with her in McKinney, Texas, about 30 miles north of Dallas.

Though she offered little else, Lt. Kenneth Ling of the New York City Police Department said originally they didn’t question her report.

But last month, officials announced there was no evidence the couple had been among the 2,749 victims of the September 11 attacks.

Doug Kowalski, police chief in McKinney, had doubts all along.

“I have never been contacted, either by the family or the New York authorities,” said Chief Kowalski. “I guess you’d have to say it is suspicious at best.”

The couple’s daughter, married and the mother of two, applied for a death certificate for her parents in 2002, but it was denied.

Lt. Ling, the New York cop who handles tracing missing victims from the department’s Special Frauds Unit, said the last time he contacted Mr. Kabeya’s daughter, she refused to cooperate.

Son Crispin Kabeya, 29, of Dallas, has said he has “heard” his parents moved to Europe before the World Trade Center attacks. He admits, however, that he had had no contact with the elder Mr. Kabeya since shortly after they arrived in the United States in 1997.

Checks with data banks and various law-enforcement and governmental agencies have produced no positive trail, nor has Mr. Ling found any bus records, hotel charges or any proof of the New York trip.

Lt. Ling’s unit has been involved in more than 50 cases of fraud by those claiming to have lost relatives in the New York attacks.

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