FBI wants, the motive for the fiery crash at California air base

ROSEVILLE, California. – Investigators said Friday that they are a mystery as to why a man who emigrated 25 years ago from India drove a burning truck full of propane tanks and petrol cans by the gate of a large Northern California Air Force Base this week.

Hafiz Kazi, 51, died in the Kia minivan Wednesday evening, after a rose by the gate at Travis Air Force Base and crashing, said FBI agent Sean Ragan. Kazi does not have any known links to terrorism, not behind a manifesto or any threats or explanation, and a video of a mobile telephone provided no idea.

“Why has this person eventually to the front gate of Travis Air Base on the fire and died by now? We do not have the answers to that,” Ragan said. Researchers know of no one else in connection with the incident, nor threats of the air base or the community.

Air Force ground staff in the first instance thought that they were dealing with a vehicle accident when Kazi crashed and she realized that he was on fire. No shots were fired as he was in the base, and it was only after the fire was out and they broke through the closed van doors to support Kazi that she realized that it was loaded with five propane tanks, three gallon-size gasoline cans and several lighters, Ragan said. Also found a gym bag with personal belongings and three mobile phones.

Kazi’s body was so 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 became a permanent legal resident. He has never served in the army and has no known ties to the air base, he said.

“We know what happened,” Ragan said. “The question is why. Why was he there? What brought him there? And we don’t know the answers to that, honestly. So the research that we’re doing now is trying to piece together his life, in an attempt to piece together what led up to this event, and try to figure out why he was there and why he had those items in his vehicle … They continue until we get the answers.”

Ragan said that they would not have been able to be one of Kazi’s family lives in the United States. A member of the family in India has knowledge of Kazi’s death, Ragan said. He said Kazi seemed to work as a taxi driver in the past, but that the researchers have not yet determined if he was employed at that time. It is not clear whether he is the owner of the van.

“We have no evidence of any religious or something at this point,” Ragan said. “From now on, we know of no other employees.”

Researchers have interviewed a number of Kazi’s friends and busy with a search warrant, he said. They are also scouring social media, so far without result.

Calls to different numbers with the Kazi were not returned Friday.

About 10,000 people live and work on the base-55 miles (88 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.


Associated Press writer Paul Elias contributed to this report from San Francisco.

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