July 29, 2008, - 9:54 am
Mystery: Was American Involved in Islamic Terrorist Bombings in India . . . Or is He an Innocent Victim?
By Debbie Schlussel
An e-mail from the computer of Kenneth Haywood, an India-based American citizen and general manager of an executive training firm called Campbell White, warned of the Islamic terrorist bombings in India on Saturday:
In the name of Allah the Indian Mujahideen strike again! Do whatever you can, within 5 minutes from now, feel the terror of Death!
Soon after, 22 bombs were detonated in the attacks, killing 42 Indians and wounding over 180. The attacks were in Ahmadabad, which has a significant Islamic presence. And the English language e-mail from an Islamic terrorist group taking credit for the attacks was sent from Haywood’s computer.
He claims his computer was hijacked, and it may well have been. That would be a smart move by Islamic terrorists in India to attempt to implicate an American.
But, as we know those involved in terror have many different characteristics (sometimes including American citizenship–ie., Adam Gadahn John Walker Lindh, etc.), but usually one commonality: Islam (or working at the behest of Muslims). And sadly, many Islamic terrorists have visited America and come in and out.
So, is Haywood an innocent man who has been unfairly implicated? For now, it certainly looks that way. But maybe it’s a double-fake.
I’d love to know more about Haywood, and why this e-mail message apparently emanated from his computer, in particular–too coincidental that they snagged an American’s network.
Haywood is a 48-year-old, whose home was raided by Indian police, but they haven’t arrested him. More from AP:
Police in Mumbai traced the e-mail back to the Internet protocol address of Haywood, who lives in Navi Mumbai, a satellite city across the water from India’s commercial capital.
His firm’s Web site said it offers “accent neutralization, cultural comprehension and verbal/non-verbal communication.”
The Mumbai police said that he had been questioned but not arrested and that they were still investigating whether he could have been involved or whether his e-mail account was hacked.
“He is a suspect, yes,” said a police officer involved in the investigation. “He may not be a suspect as well.”
State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said Washington had no information.
Based on this story, it sounds like Haywood may have been targeted, but maybe not:
The IP address for the email claiming responsibility for an obscure group called the Indian Mujahideen was traced by police to Haywood’s laptop. They then raided the plush 15th-floor apartment.
Officers believe the email could have been sent by anyone within two floors of Haywood’s flat.
“He has never been detained, but we have called on him and questioned him as part of the investigation,” said Parambir Singh, a senior officer in the anti-terrorism squad.
“He has said his email ID was hacked and evidence we have gathered shows that his network was used to forward the mail.”
The Hindustan Times newspaper quoted Haywood, a business consultant, as saying the technician who set up the web connection had insisted he not change his default password.
He told the paper he had already complained about excessively high browsing bills: “I found that my net usage had suddenly increased and I started getting inflated bills.”
Singh said Haywood and the other occupants of the flat – variously reported as being another man or his family – were still being questioned.
“We are not saying that they are suspects, but at the same time we cannot, at the moment, give them a clean chit,” he said.
So, is Kenneth Haywood an innocent victim of terrorists hijacking his computer? Or is he somehow involved? It’s weird that he’d take advice never to change his default password. Also odd that he claimed he saw a rise in his net usage and didn’t look into it. The guy is, after all, a business consultant. Would you want someone consulting your business who didn’t do these basic deeds of diligence?
What do you think? Innocent or Guilty?
Oddly, the Campbell White site does not list a “Kenneth” among its staff . . . at least, not anymore.
Video from the attacks: