Published November 15, 2002
JARRATT, Va. – The State Department warned of possible global retaliation against Americans as a Pakistani man who killed two CIA employees in a 1993 shooting rampage outside the agency's headquarters was executed Thursday.
Aimal Khan Kasi, 38, died by injection at the Greensville Correctional Center at 9:07 p.m.
"There is no god but Allah," Kasi said, softly chanting in his native tongue until he lost consciousness.
Hours before the execution, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal and Gov. Mark R. Warner denied a request for clemency, saying Kasi has "shown absolutely no remorse for his actions."
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.
Some 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 dies.
Kasi killed CIA communications worker Frank Darling, 28, and CIA analyst and physician Lansing Bennett, 66, as they sat in their cars at a stoplight in McLean. Three other men — an engineer, an AT&T employee and a CIA analyst — were wounded as Kasi walked along a row of stopped cars, shooting into them with a semiautomatic AK-47 rifle.
He fled the country and spent most of the next 4 years hiding in and around the city of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. He was caught in a hotel while visiting Pakistan and was returned to the United States.
Kasi confessed to the slayings during the return flight, saying he was angry over CIA meddling in Muslim nations.
Security around Greensville was greatly increased, according to a prison source. The only evidence was two correctional officers with shotguns standing on each side of the road near the prison entrance, and several officers with sidearms in front of the remote prison, about 55 miles from Richmond.
State Police and other agencies increased security in northern Virginia, around Richmond's Capitol Square and the governor's mansion.
"Someone with national and even international credentials like this, it mandates that we take extra precautions," said Col. Gerald Massengill, head of the Virginia State Police.
Kasi spent the day in a cell only a few feet from Virginia's death chamber. He met with two of his brothers, his attorneys and his spiritual adviser, corrections spokesman Larry Traylor said. No family members of the victims attended the execution.
Raymond F. Morrogh, one of the prosecutors who helped convict Kasi, witnessed the execution. "I'm satisfied that justice was done," he said.
About 80 anti-death penalty protesters gathered on a field outside the prison for a candlelight vigil. An imam offered prayers in Arabic and English. The protesters were silent from 9 to 9:07 p.m.
Kasi's brothers were expected to claim his body after an autopsy and return with it to Pakistan. Kasi's family said he would be buried next to his father in a graveyard of fellow tribesman near his hometown of Quetta.
Kasi was convicted in November 1997 as Mir Aimal Kasi, but he said that name is erroneous because of a misprint on his visa. He told The Associated Press in an interview last week that he had no regrets about the killings but did not want any retaliation for his execution. Kasi's family near Quetta, Pakistan, also pleaded for calm.
"Kasis are a peaceful tribe. We want peaceful solutions to every problem," said his older brother, Nasibullah Kasi. "We do not want the Kasi name to be used to harm anybody."
The family of Judy Becker-Darling, widow of Frank Darling, also hoped for calm.
"We will spend time in prayer for Kasi, that God will have mercy on his soul, for his family, that there be no terrorism reprisal, and for world peace," the family said in a statement.
CIA Director George J. Tenet said in a statement that "our thoughts" are with the victims of the shooting. "They and their loved ones will always be a part of our agency family," he said.
Also present for the execution was FBI agent Brad Garrett, who helped find Kasi hiding in Pakistan in 1997 and return him for trial.
"Apparently they've struck up a rather interesting friendship," Traylor said, noting that Garrett had been on Kasi's visitor and phone list while he was on Death Row.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.