Federal investigators seem to be at a loss as to the motives of a man who attacked the front gate of Travis Air Force Base in Northern California on Wednesday.
According to the Los Angeles Times, 51-year-old Hafi Kazi drove a burning minivan stocked with propane and gas tanks into the front gates of the base, and investigators are still questioning as to why it happened and if anyone else had been involved.
“We don’t have any nexus of terrorism at this point,” said Sean Ragan, the special agent in charge of Sacramento’s FBI field office.
“Now the question is, why,” he added. “Why was he there? What led him there? And we don’t know answers to that, quite frankly.”
Ragan said Kazi was a permanent legal resident living in the U.S. since 1993 and that he had mainly lived in the Bay Area, though where he had most recently lived was still unknown.
It was around 7 p.m. when security personnel saw flames inside the fueled-up minivan after it had pushed through the front gates and proceeded to crash shortly thereafter.
An explosives ordnance disposal team along with investigators from the Air Force and FBI were quickly called to the scene after emergency responders found five propane tanks, three plastic one-gallon gas cans, numerous lighters, a gym bag stowed with personal items and three phones in the vehicle.
Though Kazi’s body had been severely burned from the explosion, coroners were eventually able to identify him, and investigators are now trying to glean any other information they can.
Agents on the case said they were pursuing several leads as they try to piece together the 51-year-old’s life, including searching for any religious or social affiliation that would drive him to such an action.
While speaking about the incident, Ragan publicly debunked the rumor of a “jihad” video reportedly found on Kazi’s phone, and insisted the FBI still has not yet reached a firm conclusion on the man’s life and whereabouts.
“There is no evidence of religious affiliation,” Ragan stated. “As of right now, we know of no other associates.”
However, authorities have been in contact with a relative of Kazi’s in India, though no interview has been reported to have taken place.
Witnesses who saw the explosion admitted that it was unlike anything they’d seen, saying the black SUV was quickly engulfed in flames.
“The car basically blew up,” said Kamren Hernandez, who had been at his family’s restaurant just a few feet from the main gates of the base. “It was nothing anymore.”
Hernandez’ father, Lamar, admitted that after the initial blast the flames just “kept exploding — boom boom. Kept on going.”
“He had something in there explosive,” Lamar added. “It sounded like the 4th of July. I’ve never heard anything like that — really loud.”
As for the citizens of the military base, which houses nearly 7,000 active military members, investigators stated that nothing points to another “attack” or threat to it or the surrounding communities.
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