Saamer Akhshabi

Back in February I reported that Saamer Akhshabi, a Georgia Tech Muslim student, had third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body from a fiery blaze in his apartment, a result of an explosive device and gasoline that was found in his apartment.  An FBI spokesman said that his burns were most likely from an incendiary device.

In addition to what police described as a Molotov cocktail — a container filled with flammable material, and often topped with a makeshift fuse — police said several gasoline- or kerosene-filled bottles were found in the apartment.

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Saamer Akhshabi has died from his injuries. We will never know how many lives were saved.

“Burned Georgia Tech student dies from injuries,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 6, 2014

The Georgia Tech graduate student burned over 90 percent of his body last month died Thursday, the Institute said.

Saamer Akhshabi was burned in a Feb. 4 explosion inside his apartment, where investigators found a suspected Molotov cocktail and several plastic bottles filled with gasoline and kerosene. Akhshabi, 26, was transported in critical condition to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died early Thursday, Georgia Tech shared with the campus.

“We have worked closely with other law enforcement agencies during the investigation of this tragic incident,” Robert Connolly, interim police chief for Georgia Tech, said in an emailed statement. “The FBI has relayed that, to date, they have not developed any information or evidence indicating criminal intent in this investigation.”

Investigators determined that Akhshabi was not a threat to the Georgia Tech community, Connolly said. But no information was released regarding why Akhshabi had the explosive materials.

Akhshabi was studying in the College of Computing at Tech, where he had attended since 2009, according to his web page. He was scheduled to graduate in May. Prior to moving to Atlanta, Akhshabi completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Tehran in Iran, his native country.

“Saamer’s initial prognosis was very bad, but he fought for more than a month,” Zvi Galil, dean of the college of computing, said in a story on the Institute’s website. “Our faculty and students visited him regularly, often staying for hours at a time. This was an excellent, promising student, and all of us in the college deeply mourn him.”

The College of Computing is raising funds to help Akhshabi’s parents return his body to Iran.

Pamela Geller is the Editor of