New York, Mar 24 (PTI) An Indian-origin man unauthorisedly drove past into a major air force base in the US and died as the vehicle crashed and burst into flames, with the FBI saying they are investigating the motive behind his action.
Hafiz Kazi, 51, of Sausalito drove his minivan into the Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California on March 21 without authorisation.
FBI Sacramento Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan said in a statement that as the vehicle entered the base, it caught fire and Kazi died at the scene.
Within the vehicle, investigators found five propane tanks, a gym bag with personal effects, three phones, three plastic one-gallon gas cans, and several lighters.
The investigation is in the early stages, he said.
A report in Fox News quoted Ragan as saying that Kazi was a native of India who has lived in the US since 1993 and was a permanent legal resident. Ragan said investigators have been unable to find any of Kazi’s family living in the US, but a family member in India has been notified of his death.
The FBI officer said Kazi appeared to work as a cab driver in the past, but investigators are yet to determine if he was currently employed. It is also not clear if Kazi owned the minivan.
“We don’t have any evidence of any religious affiliation or anything at this point,” Ragan said. “As of now, we know of no other associates.” He added that based on the investigation so far, it appears Kazi did not have any known links to terrorism.
Travis Air Force Base first responders and local emergency officials responded to the incident, which took place at the main gate entrance. Travis Air Force Base’s Explosives Ordinance Disposal Team, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation also responded to the scene.
The FBI is currently leading the joint investigation to determine the circumstances that led to the incident.
“We know that the community is concerned but we can assure everyone that we are unaware of any specific threat to Travis Air Force Base and the Fairfield community,” Ragan said.
“We continue to seek the answer to the question of why this man acted in the manner he did. We appreciate the public’s concern and patience as we continue to follow all investigative leads in order to provide a factual basis for the events that occurred,” he said.
Ragan said investigators have been reviewing all available information about Kazi and urged the public for any information about him.
The Travis Air Force Base is home to 10,000 military personnel and is a major hub for logistics and military cargo in the Pacific. It’s the largest military aerial port in the United States and includes facilities for airlift and aerial refuelling, according to a CNN report.
The base is located in Solano County and is midway between Sacramento and San Francisco.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.