Jason Spindler, a Jewish American whose life was changed when he survived the 9/11 attack in New York, was killed in a terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya.
The shooting attack Tuesday on a business complex, claimed by the Somali Islamist terrorist group Shabab, claimed at least 21 lives. Shabab said it was motivated in part to commit the attack by President Donald Trump’s recognition in 2017 of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Spindler, a young investment banker in 2001, helped save lives in New York on 9/11, friends told The Washington Post.
The experience led Spindler to leave investment banking, earn a law degree from New York University a and join the Peace Corps. He was in Kenya as a social entrepreneur, helping others start small businesses as a means of alleviating poverty.
An avid climber, he maintained a goofy sense of humour: In November, on Facebook, he posted a picture of the Finger Board Room in his Houston hometown synagogue, Beth Israel, and captioned it “Synagogue or climbing gym #badclimbingjokes.”
Spindler’s Houston-based family was flying to Kenya to retrieve his body and would hold a funeral service for him on Monday on what would have been his 41st birthday.
Israel offered support following the attacks, with the Israeli Embassy in Kenya writing on Twitter: “The State of Israel condemns the horrific terror attack on innocent lives at the DusitD2 Hotel in Nairobi. Yet another attack on innocent people going about their errands. Israel stands with Kenya during this sad moment. We shall continue to fight terror together.”
Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev said: “Our thoughts & prayers at Israel in UK are with High Commissioner Manoah Esipisu, his team at Kenya Mission UK, and his countrymen at this difficult time.”
Yuval Rotem, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, said he was: “Horrified by the terrible news from Nairobi, where the Dusit hotel was attacked by terrorists. As the event unfolds, we stand with the government & people of Kenya in the fight against terrorism. Our thoughts & prayers are with the victims’ families”.