An American businessman who survived 9/11 was killed in a terrorist attack at a hotel in Kenya yesterday (January 15).
Jason Spindler was among 13 others who were killed when terrorists stormed the luxury DusitD2 compound, a cluster of shops and hotel facilities in the capital of Nairobi.
It is believed he was having lunch in the hotel’s cafe when four attackers entered the building with grenades, guns and a bomb at approximately 3pm.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Jason survived the 9/11 terror attacks when the building he was working in collapsed as a result of debris from the North Tower plane strike.
After that, he left Wall Street to work for the Peace Corps and would later devote his career to developing technology and finance in emerging markets such as Kenya.
His work took him to Nairobi, where he became the founder and managing director of I-DEV International, a management strategy and investment firm based in the Kenyan capital.
— I-DEV International (@IDEVNews) October 26, 2018
His brother, Jonathon, confirmed his death on Facebook yesterday, the Daily Mail reports. In the emotional post, he described Jason as a ‘fighter’ and said the family would miss him dearly.
It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that my brother, Jason, passed away this morning during a terror attack in Nairobi. Jason was a survivor of 9/11 and a fighter. I am sure he gave them hell.
There are no words to describe how our family is feeling but I can say… Jason Spindler, you are and always will be an amazing son, brother and uncle.
Rest in peace – we will miss you dearly.
Jason’s mother, Sarah Spindler, also paid tribute to her son in an interview with NBC News, in which she mentioned he was the recipient of grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation.
She said her son was:
…trying to make positive change in the third world in emerging markets.
We all miss him so much. And it’s so sad that such a bright young person is taken away by terrorism.
Armed men burst into the hotel complex with guns on Tuesday afternoon, in an attack that lasted several hours and ended only this morning, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said, CNN reports.
The president went on to say, once the attack was over:
The security operation at Dusit complex is over, and all the terrorists eliminated. Fourteen innocent lives were lost through the hands of these murderers, terrorists.
The attack led to a standoff that continued through the night, with people trapped in various parts of the buildings hours later. More than 700 people were evacuated to safety in the course of the attack.
We wish to caution all members of the public including politicians that Dusit Hotel and the area around 14 Riverside Drive is a Crime Scene that is under an active security operation.Until it is declared safe, everyone not actively involved in the operation should avoid the area.
— National Police Service-Kenya (@NPSOfficial_KE) January 16, 2019
The UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, posted a short video to Twitter to provide people with an update on the situation.
He advised that one British person is among the dead, saying:
I’m very sad to confirm that we believe at least one British national has been killed in the attack. We are providing our support to his family and friends at this very difficult time, and our thoughts are with them.
UPDATE: A message from @HCNicHailey regarding the incident in the Riverside area. We are supporting the family of a British man who was sadly killed in the attack. If you are a British National in Kenya, please see our travel advice here – https://t.co/zAHc8ClJSc pic.twitter.com/nWka3violU
— UK in Kenya (@UKinKenya) January 16, 2019
Our thoughts are with all the victims and their families.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).