Mir Aimal Kansi

Mir Aimal Kansi (10 February 1964 – 14 November 2002) was a Pakistani national who was convicted of the 1993 shootings at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. In the incident, Kansi killed two CIA employees and wounded another three. He soon fled to Kandahar, Afghanistan, which later became a Taliban stronghold, and went into hiding for four years. He was caught and arrested by the FBI with help from Pakistani Police forces while in Pakistan. After being returned to the US, he was convicted, and sentenced to death. He was executed by lethal injection in 2002.[1][2]

Mir Aimal Kansi
FBI photo of Mir Kansi
Born10 February 1964
Died (aged 38)
Cause of deathLethal injection
Known forPerpetrator of the 1993 shootings at CIA Headquarters
Criminal charge(s)Capital murder, first degree murder, malicious wounding
Criminal penaltyDeath by lethal injection
Criminal statusExecuted


Kansi was an ethnic Baluchi[3] born on either 10 February 1964 or 1 January 1967 in Quetta, Pakistan.[4][5] He entered the United States in 1991 under the name Mir Aimal Kansi and brought a substantial sum of cash he had inherited on the death of his father, in 1989. He traveled on forged papers that he had purchased in Karachi, Pakistan. He had altered his name to "Kansi" and later bought a fake US green card in Miami, Florida.[6]

He stayed with a Kashmiri friend, Zahed Mir,[7] in his Reston, Virginia apartment, and he invested in a courier firm for which he also was a spy.[8] That work would be decisive in his choice of target: "I used to pass this area almost every day and knew these two left-turning lanes [were] mostly people who work for CIA."[6]

According to Kansi, he first began to think of attacking CIA personnel after he bought a Chinese-made AK-47 from a Chantilly gun store. The plan soon became "more important than any other thing to [him]."[6]


On 25 January 1993, Kansi stopped a borrowed brown Datsun station wagon[9] behind a number of vehicles waiting at a red traffic light on the eastbound side of Route 123, Fairfax County.[10] The vehicles were waiting to make a left turn into the main entrance of CIA headquarters. Kansi emerged from his vehicle with his semi-automatic Type 56 assault rifle and proceeded to move among the lines of vehicles, firing a total of 10 rounds into them,[11] killing Lansing H. Bennett, 66, and Frank Darling, 28. Three others were left with gunshot wounds.[8] Darling was shot first and later received additional gunshot wounds to the head after Kansi shot the other victims.

Kansi returned to his vehicle and drove to a nearby park. After 90 minutes of waiting, he realized that he was not being actively sought and so he drove back to his Reston apartment.[8] At the time reports said police were looking for a white male in his twenties and the shooting was not thought to be directly connected to the CIA. [12]He hid the rifle in a green plastic bag under a sofa, went to a McDonald's to eat, and booked himself into a Days Inn for the night. The CNN news reports he watched made it clear that police had misidentified his vehicle and did not have his license plate number.[7] The next morning, he took a flight to Quetta, Pakistan. According to Kansi, he killed CIA employees because, "I was real angry with the policy of the U.S. government in the Middle East, particularly toward the Palestinian people," Kansi said in a prison interview with CNN affiliate WTTG.[13]

On 16 February 1993, Kansi, then a fugitive, had been charged in absentia. The charges involved the capital murder of Darling, murder of Bennett, and three counts of malicious wounding for the other victims, along with related firearms charges.

Arrest and renditionEdit

In May 1997, an informant walked into the U.S. consulate in Karachi and claimed he could help lead them to Kansi. As proof, he showed a copy of a drivers license application made by Kansi under a false name but bearing his photograph. Apparently, the people who had been sheltering Kansi wanted the multimillion-dollar reward offer for his capture. Kansi stated, "I want to make it clear [that] the people who tricked me [...] were Pushtuns, they were owners of land in the Leghari and Khosa clan areas in Dera Ghazi Khan, but I will never name them."[14]

As Kansi was in the dangerous Durand Line border region, the informant was told to lure Kansi into Pakistan, where he could be more easily apprehended. Kansi was tempted with a lucrative business offer, smuggling Russian electronic goods into Pakistan, which brought him to Dera Ghazi Khan, in the Punjab province of Pakistan, where he checked into a room at Shalimar Hotel.[14] At 4 a.m. on 15 June 1997, an armed team of FBI officers, working with the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence, raided Kansi's hotel room. His fingerprints were taken on the scene, confirming his identity. Sources disagree as to where Kansi was taken next. US authorities claim it was a holding facility run by Pakistani authorities,[8] but Pakistani sources claim it was the US embassy in Islamabad[14] before he was flown to the US on 17 June in a C-141 transport.[8][15] During the flight, Kansi made a full oral and written confession to the FBI.[8]


During the trial, the defense introduced testimony from Dr. Richard Restak, a neurologist and neuropsychiatrist, that Kansi was missing tissue from his frontal lobes, a congenital defect that made it hard for him to judge the consequence of his actions. That testimony was reiterated by another psychiatrist for the defense, based upon independent examination.

Kansi was tried at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, by a jury trial over a period of ten days in November 1997; he had pleaded not guilty to all charges. The jury found him guilty and recommended the death penalty for the capital murder charge.[8] On 4 February 1998, Kansi was sentenced to death for the capital murder of Darling, who was shot at the beginning of the attack and again after the other victims had been shot. His other sentences of life imprisonment for the first-degree murder of Bennett, a 60 year sentence for the three malicious woundings, and fines totaling $600,000[8] were rendered moot by his execution.

Execution and burialEdit

Kansi was executed by lethal injection on 14 November 2002, at Greensville Correctional Center, in Jarratt, Virginia.[16] Kansi's body was repatriated to Pakistan; his funeral was attended by the entire civil hierarchy of Balochistan, the local Pakistan Army Corps Commander and the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, Ashraf Jahangir Qazi.[17][18]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Mir Aimal Kasi #807". www.clarkprosecutor.org. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  2. ^ http://www.foxnews.com/story/2002/11/15/pakistani-executed-for-13-cia-rampage.html
  3. ^ Gunaratna, Rohan. Inside Al Qaeda:Global Network of Terror. Columbia University Press.
  4. ^ Coll (2004). Ghost Wars. Penguin. pp. 220-225. ISBN 1-59420-007-6.
  5. ^ "Mir Aimal Kansi". FBI. web.archives.org. 22 October 1996. Archived from the original on 22 October 1996. Retrieved 31 July 2011.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  6. ^ a b c Stein, J. "Convicted assassin: 'I wanted to shoot the CIA director'", Salon.com, 22 January 1998. Archived 12 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b Davis, P. & Glod, M. "CIA Shooter Kansi, Harbinger of Terror, Set to Die Tonight", Washington Post, 14 November 2002. Archived 20 September 2018 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Justice A. Christian Compton, Virginia Supreme Court Opinion on Mir Aimal Kansi, 6 November 1998.
  9. ^ Bill Miller. "Gunsmith Says Tip on Kansi Went Unheeded; ATF Disputes Employee's Account", Washington Post, 12 February 1993
  10. ^ Steve Coll, "Ghost Wars", New York: Penguin Books, 2004, pp. 246–247
  11. ^ Benjamin, Daniel & Steven Simon. "The Age of Sacred Terror", 2002
  12. ^ =https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1993-01-26-mn-2002-story.html
  13. ^ ARCHIVES CNN Pakistani man executed for CIA killings 15 November 2002 Archived 23 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ a b c Hasan, K. "How Aimal Kansi was betrayed", Daily Times (Pakistan), 23 June 2004. Archived 29 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Khan, R. "In search of truth", DAWN, 24 November 2002.
  16. ^ Glod, M. & Weiss, E. "Kansi Executed For CIA Slayings, Washington Post, November 15, 2002.
  17. ^ "Pakistan's Foreign Policy Predicaments Post 9/11"
  18. ^ Sahni, Ajai (28 November 2002). "Pakistan's new government 'takes charge'". Asia Times. Retrieved 8 November 2012.