Published on October 18th, 2012 | by Editor0
IFSA Saddened by Killing of FSN Qassim Aklan in Yemen
Qassim M. Aklan, an FSN at the US Embassy in Yemen, was killed in a drive-by shooting by a masked militant on a motorcycle near his house on October 11. A gunman reportedly opened fire on him and fled the scene. Qassim M. Aklan had worked at the US Embassy in Sana’a for 11 years as a security investigator and liaison. The International Foreign Service Association (IFSA) is deeply saddened by the death of our dear colleague and mourns the tragic loss of yet another Foreign Service National. We strongly condemn this act of violence and extend our deepest condolences to Qassim’s family and colleagues.
The State Department has issued a press release condemning “this vicious act in the strongest terms possible. ” The State Department extends its “deepest condolences to his family and friends” and states that Mr. Aklan, a Yemeni citizen, worked as a Foreign Service National Investigator at the Embassy for the last 11 years. He was a dedicated professional who will be greatly missed. We are coordinating closely with the Yemeni authorities to investigate this attack and to help bring those responsible to justice.”
Another Foreign Service National, one of many over the course of recent decades, has died in the line of duty. Foreign Service Nationals, international employees who serve with great loyalty and dedication at diplomatic posts around the world, are the State Department’s largest group of employees and outnumber diplomatic staff at most embassies. Tragically FSNs also make up the largest number of Embassy employees killed as victims of terrorist attacks. Of the 63 employees killed during the 1983 bombing of the Embassy in Beirut, 46 were FSNs. Two years later another explosion at the Embassy led to the deaths of an additional 12 Foreign Service Nationals. In the September 1998 attacks against the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, at least 42 Foreign Service Nationals were killed. IFSA is dedicated to keeping the memories of our FSN colleagues alive, and to ensuring that their service and sacrifice are honored and remembered.