American businessman who survived the 9/11 attack is among 14 people killed in the terrorist attack in Nairobi
An American businessman who survived 9/11 is among those who was killed in an Islamist attack at a hotel in Nairobi on Tuesday on his 41st birthday.
Jason Spindler was killed at the Dusit hotel along with 13 others when five attackers stormed the luxury hotel with grenades, guns and a bomb.
He was having lunch in the hotel’s cafe, which he often did, when he was attacked along with other diners and hotel guests.
British father Luke Potter, who worked for a charity, was also killed.
Friends Abdalla Dahir and Feisal Ahmed were both also killed. Both men worked for consulting firm Adam Smith International.
The other eight victims have not yet been named.
The attackers rained terror on the hotel and exchanged gunfire with Kenyan security forces for 20 hours before the terrifying ordeal was brought to a close on Wednesday.
All five were ‘eliminated’, according to Kenyan officials.
Thirty people had to be taken to hospital to be treated for injuries and 700 people were evacuated from the hotel complex in total.
Spindler was the CEO of I-DEV International, a management strategy and investment firm that is based in the Kenyan capital.
He grew up in Texas then worked as an analyst for an investment firm before leaving Wall Street after 9/11 to work for the Peace Corps and later devoted his career to developing technology and finance in emerging markets such as Kenya.
He escaped 9/11 with his life after the building he was working in – Building 7 – collapsed as a result of debris from the North Tower plane strike.
His brother, Jonathan, confirmed his death on Tuesday, saying: ‘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.’
Friends reported online that Spindler was having lunch at the hotel when the attack began at 3pm.
His father said on Wednesday that he had been living in Kenya for around five years. He launched his company, I-Dev International, in 2007.
Friend Chris Shroeder said on Facebook after news of his death emerged: ‘Jason Spindler was one of those rare men who was loved by pretty much anyone be touched in Kenya and around the world.
‘He chose a life of hope and inclusion. I am grateful to have known and learned from him.’
It was previously reported that an American woman was also among the dead but a State Department spokesman confirmed to DailyMail.com on Wednesday that only one US citizen lost their life.
‘We can confirm that a U.S. citizen was killed in the attack. We offer our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of this individual.
‘Out of respect for the family of the deceased, we have no further comment,’ a spokesman said.
Spindler was working as an analyst for the Salomon Brothers when 9/11 happened. He escaped with his life from the Building 7, which was completely destroyed. Debris from the North Tower collapse landed on the building and caused fires to spread on the lower floors.
Flaws in its internal fire suppression system failed to stop the blaze from spreading and, at 5.21pm – nearly nine hours after the first plane hit the North Tower, it collapsed.
After the attacks, he joined the Peace Corps.
On Tuesday night, Spindler’s mother Sarah Sandler said he had been trying to make changes in emerging markets when he was killed.
‘[He was] 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,’ she told NBC.
Another friend and colleague described him as an ‘incredible entrepreneur’ who ‘worked tirelessly to improve the livelihoods of millions of people.’ .
Spindler continued working as an analyst in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 then left Wall Street in 2003 to join a management services company.
In 2005, Spindler joined the Peace Corps in Peru as a business and economic development volunteer.
He briefly pursued human rights law after taking a break from work to study at NYU in 2006, then launched his company in 2007.
Source: Daily Mail