Tuesday, August 19, 2008
THE STRANGE CASE OF ATS AND US CITIZEN KEN HAYWOOD FLEEING INDIA
Times of India redeem ED its credibility when it published as its front page banner headlines, the shocking news of Haywood leaving India despite a lookout notice. Haywood had been under Anti Terrorist Squad’s scrutiny, over the matter of the infamous Email supposedly sent out in the name of a fictitious organisation calling itself ‘Indian Mujahideen’, traced to Key Haywood’s laptop. For over weeks, while ATS had questioned reportedly 1000 people and searched neighbourhood apartments, trying to figure out, how Ken Haywood’s laptop could have been hacked, if at all. A narco test on Haywood too had been carried out. According to ATS, Haywood has not been arrested. In Muslim circle, this glaring discriminative practice is a matter of much debate and heartburn, that just because Haywood is a US citizen, he is being given preferential such kid glove treatment. If a similar case had been observed involving an Indian Muslim, the accused would have been summarily incarcerated and given third degree while questioned. Back in US too, Indian citizens have been given similar harsh treatment, when suspected of even peripherally being associated with some terror incident.
ATS has asked him to be available for questioning and a lookout notice has been issued to the immigration authorities. Still, the man, possibly through US consular help, was able to hoodwink immigration authorities at New Delhi airport and flew off to the US.
So much for the spine of Indian authorities who are being harangued to cooperate with the US over global terrorism and for their discriminative behavior when it involves two different nationalities, on their own!
Ken Haywood’s background is reported to be anything but straight forward.
The Indian Express carries a report: ‘The curious case of Kenneth Haywood’, published on Thursday, August 14, 2008:
The curious case of Ken Haywood
Posted online: Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 0052 hrs
As the American undergoes lie detector test, the Anti-Terror Squad is trying to figure out the man behind his personae
Sagnik Chowdhury, Smita Nair & Johnson T A
Mumbai/ Bangalore , August 13: Ken Haywood, the American national from whose Internet Protocol (IP) address the terror e-mail was sent prior to the Ahmedabad serial blasts, underwent lie detector tests on Wednesday, a senior police official said in Mumbai. Maharashtra’s Anti-Terror Squad (ATS), which is probing the case, traced the e-mail to Haywood’s flat in Navi Mumbai and found that his background and job were “of a slightly dubious nature”. But the information available so far is not good enough to charge him or suggest his involvement in the case.
“We have conducted inquiries on Haywood’s background and his company. These are of a slightly dubious nature, and even the company he works for and its office are a bit suspect,” ATS chief Hemant Karkare told The Indian Express. “However, this does not directly link him with the case in any way. After all, having a suspicious background, or even working for a bogus company is not enough to book anyone for involvement in terror activities,” he added.
G S Hegde, Haywood’s lawyer, said: “The ATS has not said anything about Haywood’s personal life, or his involvement in any criminal activities. We maintain he is innocent.”
The police in Mumbai and Bangalore have said there is primary evidence to show that Haywood’s wi-fi account was hacked into and compromised, resulting in the terror e-mail on July 26 — five minutes before the blasts. Questions remain as to who did it and how they picked on Haywood’s computer network.
Haywood is supposed to be a corporate training manager and general manager with a company called Campbell White, which describes itself on its website as a “premier executive soft skills trainer”.
On the corporate side, Daniel Rubianes is the managing director of the company with its main office at the first floor of the M S Plaza in east Bangalore. Rubianes, like many other employees of Campbell White, wears a second hat. On Thursdays and Sundays, he is pastor Dan Rubianes, the head of the Door Christian Centre — a church with origins in Arizona in the US but relatively new to India. Door Christian Centre is a part of the Pentecostal Christian Fellowship Ministries, also known as the Potter’s House. Haywood is a functionary of the Potter’s House in Mumbai.
The Indian Express found that the Mumbai office of the MNC is located in two small adjoining rented rooms on the ground floor of Sanpada railway station complex in Navi Mumbai. The two rooms also serve as prayer rooms on Sundays and Thursdays for the Potter’s House. A notice pasted on the wall says the community service has been cancelled until further notice and is signed by Haywood.
Brother Richard D’Souza, the contact person for the centre, said, “We have been running our prayer service for the last one year from these premises. It is only this year that Campbell White opened its branch here.” He said 20 students learn English from Haywood.
Campbell White has, meanwhile, removed details regarding its employees from its website to protect “workers and their families from malicious intents by anyone”. “Campbell White will continue to support police authorities with full cooperation… We have emphasised to them that they should work diligently and quickly to find suspects and bring them to justice so that Mr. Haywood may return to his normal course of business,” it says.
ATS officials raided Haywood’s residence on July 27. Ten computers from neighbouring houses and Haywood’s residence were sent to the Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory for analysis.
Physical and Internet-based checks on other past and present employees of Campbell White like Scott Grabowska, a former Mumbai-based international protocol trainer, David Curwen-Walker, a senior operations manager, and Jonathan Heimberg, a senior information services manager, both in Bangalore, have shown links to the church. For instance, Curwen-Walker and Heimberg head the Door churches at Kammanahalli and Koramangala in Bangalore.
However, Campbell White and the Door church officials have remained elusive on the links between the two entities. When contacted Michael White, an Australia-based director for Campbell White, refused to comment on the India operations. “You must speak to Dan Rubianes in Bangalore,” he said.
Some churchgoers at the Door Christian Centre in Cox Town in Bangalore said Rubianes had left for the US on August 3 to attend a Bible conference in Arizona.
“Campbell White is a business that pastor Dan runs. We as churchgoers are not aware of its nature,” said Hemanth Kumar, an engineering student, who has been associated with the church since it began three years ago. “Being American, pastors are equipped to work as accent trainers. In Bangalore, many such people work in churches,” added Ravi Kumar, a member of the church in Bangalore.
Incidentally, Joseph Campbell, who is listed as the US director of Campbell White, is believed to be the seniormost pastor of the Door church in Arizona.
It is therefore strange that one clue, that could have possibly turned the whole direction of bomb blast investigations to foreign elements, was so callously handled. Even for media, this is most unusual and has created great suspicion in the minds of people that a bogey of SIMI line up of usual suspects had been used to camouflage, the possible link of a sleeper cell posing as Christian Missionaries that could have been behind the overall organisation of the serial bomb blasts, in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Surat, through their local agents.
Some more surprises were in the pipeline, when one fine day last week, columns and columns of print media space, in Times of India and other newspapers, written out by possibly each and every of their writer staff, doing overtime work, to have come out with the greatest fiction story of the arrests and involvement of SIMI suspects, without any need to provide any hard facts over such allegation. Given police record, people are most skeptical about their Goebbellian propaganda bringing out the true facts. Police credibility is at its lowest ebb. And if the media is hand in glove with such dubious exercises, it will not only lose its own credibility, but would do a great disservice to the nation.
Under such an atmosphere of press bending to political and police pressure to break fake stories on the gullible public, Times of India’s strong exception to the flight of Kenneth Haywood, is certainly laudable. This proves that there are more to the affairs of the state than that is revealed to the public. The dangerous game that some rogue elements are playing in demonizing a preferred victimized community cannot bring peace to the nation. The real culprits with international agenda of destabilising country after country, for self-serving objectives, should be brought to justice. But before that the people should be dutifully informed with the stark facts and nothing but the facts.
Kenneth Hayward’s lead should not be left out of the investigation of serial bomb blasts in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Surat. His possible accomplices, if any, should be traced and exposed. India cannot afford to go soft on terror, coming from sources other than those conveniently preferred by a prejudiced police and investigative force. All leads should be dutifully pursued in the interest of the security, integrity and communal harmony of the nation.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai
Tags: Ahmedabad and Surat, Anti-Terrorist Squad, Campbell White, David Curwen-Walker, Door Christian Centre, Door Church of Arizona, Indian Express, Jonathan Heimberg, Kenneth Haywood, Koramangala, Pentecostal Christian Fellowship, Potter's House, serial bombings in Bangalore, The Times of India, Walter Grabowska