Hillary Clinton Knew Anita Datar, The American Mali Victim, & Spoke Passionately About The Death Of Her Friend
Anita Datar died in the Mali hotel attack Friday, and, so far, she's the only identified American to have died in the attack. Datar was in Mali working on an international development project. Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton released a statement Saturday mourning Datar's death. How did Clinton know Datar, the American Mali victim? Datar's former husband worked for Clinton, and the two became friends, according to CNN.
Gunmen linked to al Qaeda attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, on Friday, killing at least 19 people. The attack occurred just a week after coordinated attacks in Paris left at least 127 dead, fueling U.S. calls to contain terrorist groups like ISIS, who claimed responsibility for the attacks. Datar was one of the 19 killed in Mali, and Clinton said that her murder should be a call to arms for the U.S. and other countries.
"As I said this week, America must wage and win an immediate battle against ISIS, al Qaeda, and other terrorist networks, as well as a generational struggle against radical jihadism," Clinton said in a statement about Datar's death. "We face a choice between fear and resolve. Anita's murder should deepen our resolve. American must lead the world to meet this threat."
Clinton also said that Datar, a former Peace Corps worker in Senegal, was her friend, according to the Daily Mail:
I knew Anita as the loving mother of a wonderful seven-year-old boy and the former partner of David Garten, one of my senior policy advisers in the Senate. My prayers are with the Datar and Garten families, especially Anita and David's son. My heart breaks thinking of the burden he will now bear on his small shoulders and the courage he will have to show in the days ahead.
Datar graduated from Rutgers University in 1995 and then earned her master's in public health and public administration from Columbia University, according to NJ.com. After volunteering for the Peace Corps in Senegal for two years, Datar began a career in global health and international development. She focused specifically on HIV and reproductive health and traveled to Africa, Asia, and South America to carry out her work, according to NJ.com. Datar's brother, Sanjeev Datar, released a statement about just how deeply his sister's loss will be felt, according to The Washington Post:
It's unbelievable to us that she has been killed in this senseless act of violence and terrorism. Anita was one of the kindest and most generous people we know. She loved her family and her work tremendously. Everything she did in her life she did to help others — as a mother, public health expert, daughter, sister and friend.
In her statement, according to NJ.com, Clinton said Datar "represented the best of America's generous spirit."