Pakistan hunts suspect in CIA employee killings FBI investigators to go to Pakistan

February 12, 1993|By New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON -- The authorities trying to track down the man suspected of killing two CIA employees believe he returned to his home town in Pakistan before fleeing from there several days ago.

American officials said yesterday a man using the same last name as the suspect, Mir Aimal Kansi, had flown from Washington to Pakistan on Jan. 26, a day after the attack outside the CIA headquarters.

In Quetta, a remote provincial capital in southwest Pakistan, relatives told reporters that Mr. Kansi had returned to the city last month but had departed just before he was identified as the prime suspect in the case.

The relatives told reporters that Mr. Kansi said he was going to Karachi, the nation's largest city, and would travel on to the United States. But the Associated Press said Pakistani law-enforcement officers suspect he might have slipped across the border into Afghanistan or Iran.

As federal and local authorities continued their own investigation in the Washington area, officials said they were seeking confirmation that the man who boarded a flight at National Airport in Washington on Jan. 26 was the same Mr. Kansi of

Quetta being sought in the case.

While there is no direct flight from Washington to Pakistan, the authorities said a passenger who gave his name as Hansi had traveled first to New York and then apparently boarded a Pakistan International Airlines flight that leaves on Tuesday nights for Karachi.

As the Pakistani authorities and reporters began to look into the case, new details emerged about Mr. Kansi, who is accused of the Jan. 25 attack on employees waiting in rush-hour traffic to drive their cars into CIA headquarters at McLean, Va.

Mr. Kansi, 28, is the son of a wealthy building contractor of the Pashtun Kansi tribe, a small but powerful clan that was described as perhaps the most prosperous in the province of Baluchistan. Mr. Kansi, who was born and reared in Quetta, received a master's degree in English literature from Baluchistan University in Quetta.

His friends and relatives told reporters that Mr. Kansi had moved to the United States in 1991 after growing restless in Pakistan.

The Pakistani government promised to track down Mr. Kansi and return him to the United States for trial. Interior Minister Shujat Hussain, who met with a senior American diplomat to discuss the case, said his government had begun a nationwide manhunt for Mr. Kansi and would be assisted beginning next week by a team from the FBI that will travel to Pakistan.

Although they said they had little foundation for their theory, some American authorities said the proximity of Mr. Kansi's home town to the Afghan border led them to wonder whether he might have harbored a grudge against the CIA arising from the agency's involvement in the 1980s in smuggling weapons into Afghanistan from Pakistani bases.

Robert F. Horan Jr., the chief prosecutor in Fairfax County, Va., where the shootings took place, described the region of Mr. Kansi's upbringing as "certainly interesting, in part because of its closeness to Afghanistan and different things that have gone on there in recent years." But, Mr. Horan added, "all of that is speculation."

Some academic experts on Pakistan said they were skeptical that the attack might have been an organized retribution.

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