A day after the government warned that the execution of a Pakistani could result in attacks against Americans, the man condemned for shooting people outside CIA headquarters nine years ago said he does not support any retaliation by his fellow Muslims.
"I'm against attacks on civilian Americans. They are not responsible for my execution," Mir Aimal Kasi said in a telephone interview today from death row at a state prison in Waverly, Va. "I'm not encouraging attacks against anybody."
On Jan. 25, 1993, Kasi killed CIA employees Frank A. Darling, 28, and Lansing H. Bennett, 66, as they sat in their cars at a stoplight outside CIA headquarters in McLean. Three other men were wounded as Kasi walked along the row of stopped cars, shooting into them.
He is to be executed by injection Nov. 14.
On Wednesday, the State Department warned that the execution of Kasi could result in retaliation against Americans around the world. Officials said Americans should "increase their security awareness" when they visit places where their countrymen congregate, such as residential areas, clubs, places of worship, schools and hotels.
Kasi, 38, who said he earned a master's degree in English literature in Pakistan, insisted that he is not a terrorist. "What I did was a retaliation against the U.S. government" for American policy in the Middle East and its support of Israel, he said. "It had nothing to do with terrorism."
Kasi said he did not agree with the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. "They were totally wrong. They were attacks against civilian people."
He refused to condemn the attack on the Pentagon because "the Pentagon is an agency involved in attacks against Muslim countries."
He said he has no regret about the killings he committed.
"I'm not sorry for attacking the CIA," he said. "You know, I feel sorry and sad for the families of the victims. I don't say that I feel happy or proud for it."
After the CIA killings, Kasi fled the country and spent most of the next 4 1/2 years hiding in and around Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. He was caught in a hotel while visiting Pakistan. He was tried and convicted in Fairfax County in November 1997.
Kasi said he is continuing his daily routine on death row -- praying, exercising and watching the news on TV. He is observing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by fasting from daybreak to sunset.
Kasi said he does not fear execution: "I'm not concerned about it so much. Naturally, I don't like somebody killing me. I believe what God wants, that's going to happen."
Kasi has an appeal pending with the U.S. Supreme Court. He said his attorney will submit a clemency request to Gov. Mark R. Warner (D).
Virginia Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore is opposing Kasi's appeal. In an earlier statement about the case, Kilgore said, "the rest of the terrorist world must know that we will severely punish those who engage in such acts of violent cowardice."