NAIROBI, Kenya — He escaped one act of terrorism, but not a second. American Jason Spindler, a survivor of the 9/11 terror attacks, was among at least 14 people killed Tuesday when militants stormed a hotel and office complex in Nairobi, Kenya.
Nairobi News cites colleagues as saying the founder and CEO of investment firm I-DEV International, located in the targeted complex, was eating lunch at the hotel when the attack occurred.
“I am sure he gave them hell!” his brother says, per Reuters, describing Spindler as “a fighter.”
He reportedly escaped the World Trade Center’s Building 7, where he worked as an analyst for the Salomon Brothers investment bank, before it was destroyed on 9/11, per the Daily Beast. Spindler would later serve with the US Peace Corps in Peru.
“It’s so sad that such a bright young person is taken away by terrorism,” Spindler’s mother tells NBC News, noting her son was “trying to make positive change in the Third World in emerging markets” and had received grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates and Clinton foundations.
“Know you are mountain climbing with the angels tonight,” a friend adds of the avid rock climber, per Reuters. British development professional Luke Potter, who’d only recently moved to the East African country, was also killed in the attack claimed by Somalia-based al-Shabab. Reuters also identifies Abdalla Dahir and Feisal Ahmed, two Kenyan development professionals who worked to improve life in Somalia, as among the dead. Ahmed’s widow is said to be seven months pregnant. (More details here.)