Pompeo regrets Indian-American Anil Raj’s death, remembers Mumbai attack

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a Nov. 26, 2019 press briefing at the State Department. (Photo: videograb from state.gov)

An Indian-American was killed while traveling in a United Nations vehicle in Kabul, Afghanistan Nov. 24. He was identified by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two days later on the anniversary of the Nov. 26, 2006, terror attack on Mumbai.

“…  I want to confirm with a heavy heart that a United States citizen, Anil Raj of California, was killed in a terrorist attack on a UN vehicle in Kabul on November 24th.  There were five other civilians who were injured, including staff,” Pompeo began at a press briefing Nov. 26..

“We extend our condolences to the family and friends of the victim following this tragic incident and send our best wishes for a speedy recovery for those who were injured,” he said, adding, “Attacks targeting UN personnel working to help the Afghan people are unconscionable, and we condemn this act in the strongest possible terms.”

In the same briefing, Pompeo acknowledged the 11th anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack.

“We remember the 166 innocent victims, including six Americans.  The brutality of the attack shocked the entire world.  It is an … affront – it’s an affront to the victims and their families that those who planned the Mumbai attack still have not been convicted,” Pompeo said taking a dig at Pakistani authorities who have yet to convict anyone for the days of siege and cold-blooded killings.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Raj went to Saratoga High School, then to the University of Hong Kong on a Study Abroad Program, focusing on international law, human rights, and foreign policy. He graduated from University of California, Riverside with a degree in Political Science. He got his Master’s degree in international human rights from the University of Denver’s Josef  Korbel School of International Studies.

He worked as a consultant at the UN Development Program, was with Amnesty International (USA) for more than four years, where he concentrated on Myanmar.

When he was killed in the terrorist attack, he had been serving as a full-time Management Specialist for the UNDP for just one month in Kabul.

“Love teaming up with a global network of spirited, multi-disciplinary innovators to design and lead projects that leave the world a little better off than we found it,” Raj said about himself on LinkedIn.

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of our UNDP colleague when the vehicle he and two other UNDP colleagues were traveling in was attacked in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday,” Achim Steiner, the UNDP administrator, said in a Nov. 25, 2019, statement. “On behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), I wish to express our deepest condolences to the family of our colleague who was killed and wish a speedy recovery to all those who were injured in this senseless attack.”





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