FBI seeks motive for fiery van crash at California air base

Investigators told Friday that they are stumped as to why a human who emigrated 25 years ago from India drove a flaming minivan full of propane tanks and gasoline cans through the main gate of a major Northern California Air Force Base this week, but consider no evidence of terrorism.

Hafiz Kazi, 51, died in the Kia minivan Wednesday night after veering through the gate at Travis Air Force Base and crash, said FBI agent Sean Ragan. Kazi had no known links to terrorism, did not leave behind a manifesto or any threats or explanation, and a video found on a cellphone provided no clue.

“Why did this individual end up at the front gate of Travis Air Base on fire and now deceased? We don’t have the answers to that, ” Ragan said. Examiners know of no one else associated with the incident nor any threats to air base or the community.

Air Force gate personnel initially thought they were dealing with a vehicle accident when Kazi crashed and they realized he was on fire. No shootings were fired as he entered the base, and it was only after the flame was out and they transgressed through the locked minivan doors to aid Kazi that they realized it was loaded with five propane tanks, three gallon-size gasoline cans and several cigarette lighters, Ragan said. Also observed was a gym suitcase with personal effects and three cellphones.

Kazi’s body was so badly burned that he had to be identified by fingerprints. Ragan said he is a native of India who has lived in the United States since 1993 and was a permanent legal resident. Kazi never served in the military and has no known ties to the air base, he said.

“We know what happened, ” Ragan told. “Now the question is why. Why was he there? What resulted him there? And we don’t know the answers to that, quite frankly. So the investigation that we’re doing right now is trying to piece together their own lives, trying to piece together what led up to this event, and attempt to determine why he was there and why he had those items in his vehicle … They will continue at it until we get the answers.”

Ragan said they have been unable to find any of Kazi’s family living in the United States. A family member in India has been notified of Kazi’s death, Ragan told. He said Kazi appeared to work as a cab driver in the past, but that investigators haven’t decided if he was currently applied. It’s not clear if he owned the minivan.

“We don’t have any evidence of any religious affiliation or anything at this point, ” Ragan told. “As of right now, we know of no other associates.”

Investigators have interviewed some of Kazi’s acquaintances and are working on some search warrants, he said. They also are scouring social media, so far without result.

Calls to several numbers associated with Kazi were not returned Friday.

About 10,000 people live and is currently working on the base 55 miles (8 8 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

___

Elias contributed to this report from San Francisco.

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com

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