Thursday, August 28, 2008

Email suspects still under scanner

Mateen Hafeez I TNN
Mumbai: The eight Indian suspects who have been questioned and subjected to polygraph tests and brainmapping in the terror email case are yet to be given a clean chit.

“Our investigation is not over yet. Till the time we are sure that the suspects are not involved, they will remain in the zone of suspicion,’’ said Param Bir Singh, additional commissioner of police, anti-terrorism squad (ATS).

US national Ken Haywood, the ninth suspect whose Internet Protocol address was used to send the email, left the country a few days ago under mysterious circumstances.

While the police and the forensic laboratory authorities failed to trace the origin of the mail, the ATS decided to subject the suspects to forensic tests. Those subjected to the tests included a chief executive officer of an MNC, a software engineer, a tele
com company employee, a marketing executive and a 35-year-old commerce graduate who had worked with a company in Libya for over three years.

While Haywood gave the police and the immigration authorities the slip despite a look-out notice issued against him at airports across the country, the ATS said the polygraph and brain-mapping reports of all nine suspects were negative.

The police said the sender(s) of the five emails forwarded to TV channels before the Faizabad court blasts, after the Jaipur terror strikes and the Ahmedabad explosions could be from the same group. Investigators insisted that the latest Indian Mujahideen email in which the IP address of Khalsa College was traced seemed to be similar to the earlier emails. “We find some similarities and suspect that the job is the handiwork of the same person/group,’’ added Singh.

The ATS said there would be no restrictions on their movement. “We are still watching their activities and cannot say much until we arrive at a conclusion,’’ said an ATS officer.

The nine suspects, including Haywood, were listed for forensic tests after the ATS grilled more than1,000 people. More than 10 computers were examined to find out if they were used to send the terror mail

The Times of India, August 28, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Police look for links with Ishrat Jehan case


Mateen Hafeez I TNN
Mumbai: Four years ago, Khalsa College, terror allegations and Gujarat had an unfortunate tryst. Over the weekend, when the origin of a terror e-mail was traced to a terminal in the college’s computer laboratory, the institution was again under a similar cloud.

In 2004, Ishrat Jehan, a second-year student of Khalsa College, was gunned down along with three “terrorists’’ by the Gujarat police. Interestingly, Saturday’s terror e-mail refers to several issues concerning investigations into the recent Gujarat blasts.

Policemen are now struggling to find out why a Khalsa College computer was chosen to send the terror e-mail. The police are also probing whether the e-mail sender had any connection with the Ishrat Jehan case.

The e-mail, which terms the Gujarat and Mumbai police as foolish, was sent by the Indian Mujahideen on Saturday evening. The e-mail also threatened to retaliate against officers involved in the Ahmedabad blasts’ investigation.

The anti-terrorism squad (ATS) on Sunday zeroed in on the Internet Protocol (IP) address of a computer that is on
the premises of Khalsa College in Matunga. Ishrat, 18 years old at the time, studied there four years ago.

Ishrat and three alleged militants of the banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba were gunned down at 4.30 am on June 15, 2004, by two teams of the crime branch in Gujarat. The four were travelling in a car near the Kotarpur water works.

The Gujarat police had claimed to have found an identity card of Ishrat’s which stated that she was a second-year student of Khalsa College.

One of the deceased was Javed Shaikh of Pune, a Muslim convert, with whom the police said Ishrat had had an affair. The police had claimed to have recovered 20 kg of explosive powder, an AK-56 rifle, two pistols, several cartridges, three magazines and so on.

“The police had said that the four were on their way to kill chief minister Narendra Modi,’’ the then deputy inspector-general D G Vanzara had said. Vanzara was arrested last year for allegedly staging the fake encounter of a gangster.

The Mumbai ATS is currently assisting the Gujarat police in the probe of the serial bomb blasts that took place in Ahmedabad on July 26 this year.

“To say anything whether there is any connection between the Gujarat encounter and the e-mail senders is too early. All the options of investigation are open and we will probe the case from all directions,’’ said an officer.

“Whether the e-mail sender wanted to mislead investigators or the selection of this IP address was pre-planned is yet to be established. Nothing can be ruled out at this point of time,’’ said the officer.

The Times of India, August 25, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Boy from Colaba sends terror email

Mateen Hafeez I TNN
Mumbai: Swayed by the extensive coverage of bomb blasts in the electronic media, a 14-year-old boy from Colaba reportedly played a prank by sending a terror mail to a TV channel in Madhya Pradesh.

The prankster, a class IX student, sent the mail three days after the Ahmedabad bomb blasts on July 26, saying 29 bombs would go off in Jabalpur. The boy, who posed as a member of a terror outfit called Lashkar, also warned that it was not a prank mail and challenged the authorities to prevent it. The boy, son of a chief sailor, was picked up by officers of the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) last week.

A Class IX student of
an Englishm e d i u m school in south Mumbai was picked up last week for playing a terror email prank.

The Madhya Pradesh police traced the internet protocol (IP) address from where the email was sent to a cyber cafe in Colaba’s Navy Nagar.

The ATS and the city police jointly worked on the case and picked up the boy after a thorough investigation. The boy told the police that he had no intention of committing any
crime but was curious to find out what would happen if he sent a hoax threat by email. According to police, the boy, to avoid suspicion, made three visits to the cyber cafe. On the first day, he created the email account, the next day he typed out the content, and on his third visit, sent the email.The Cuffe Parade police registered a noncognizable complaint after the origin of the email was traced. The boy had allegedly given a false identity at the cyber cafe.

The boy, who used to visit the cyber cafe often, was identified during the probe. The ATS questioned the boy and gave him a strict warning before allowing him to go.

The Times of India, August 22, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Anti-terror squad failed to make Nagori sing

SAFDAR NAGORI 38:A mechanical engineer and a resident of Ujjain in MP, he is a former all-India general secretary of SIMI

ATS Had Custody Of Ex-SIMI Gen Secy Safdar Nagori & Aides, But Couldn’t Get Info On Indian Mujahideen Or Gujarat Blasts

Mateen Hafeez I TNN
Mumbai: If the Gujarat police’s claim that Safdar Nagori headed the Indian Mujahideen (IM) is to be believed, then it could be said that the Mumbai anti-terrorism squad (ATS) might have prevented the Ahmedabad blasts.

Nagori and his associates were in ATS custody for a month recently. They were even lodged in the Arthur Road jail, a stone’s throw away from the ATS office. But the anti-terror agency could neither get any information about the IM nor the impending blasts.

Safdar, his brother Qamruddin Nagori and Shibly Abdul Peedical were caught by the Indore police in Madhya Pradesh and handed over to the ATS in a 2006 case. The Gujarat police said they were verifying their role in the blasts.

Nagori, a mechanical engineer, is the son of an assistant inspector of police. The Gujarat police claimed that Nagori conducted camps in Kerala in December 2006 and in Gujarat in January this year. However, the police teams of three states could not extract this information from him even though he was subjected to a series of forensic tests.

TOI had repeatedly asked the Mumbai ATS if Nagori was involved in any blast but the agency said it had no knowledge of this. Till last week, the ATS said it did not know whether the IM actually existed or not. But on Saturday, it sang a different tune.

“We have been saying that the IM has emerged with this new name but is an old organisation,’’ a senior ATS officer pointed out.

Asked why the ATS could not extract information from Nagori and others about the
IM, he said, “The statement has been given by the Gujarat police but nothing of this sort had come out in our probe.”

According to the Gujarat police, Nagori had a squabble with a friend, Shahid Badar Falahi, over the printing of SIMI literature as well as leadership. While Nagori insisted that only printing was not enough and they should do something beyond that, Falahi did not agree with him and parted ways.

In 2006, Nagori formed the IM, a faction of SIMI. “The Ahmedabad blasts were engineered by the IM,’’ said the Gujarat police. Nagori, former all-India general secretary of SIMI, went into hiding after a ban on the organisation in October 2001. He was arrested in
March this year along with 12 others by the Indore police while they were allegedly planning a training programme for new recruits. He was booked for possessing arms with intention of waging a war against the nation and promoting enmity between classes. Nagori and his associates were brought to Mumbai by the ATS in connection with an Unlawful Activities Prevention Act case against them. Peedical was present in the city on the day of the July 11, 2006, train blasts.

The Indore police, which kept them in custody for a month, subjected the suspects to narco analysis, polygraph tests and brain-mapping. However, they failed to collect information on Nagori’s involvement with the IM.

Also, the Karnataka police’s Corps of Detectives secured their custody from the Indore police in connection with the plot to bomb the Hubli airport, which was unearthed in January.

Safdar was brought to Mumbai by the ATS in June this year in connection with a case of printing and selling provocative literature. He was booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Qamruddin and Peedical, too, were brought to Mumbai on the same charges. Earlier, the MP police arrested Safdar, Qamruddin and Peedical, along with 10 other SIMI members, in March 2008. The police also claimed to have recovered revolvers and bullets from them. The trio was booked under Section 122 (collecting arms with the intention of waging a war against the government) and Section 153A (promoting enmity between classes) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act.

The Times of India, August 17, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ken’s wife saw 2 youths going up to terrace

Vijay Singh & Mateen Hafeez TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Navi Mumbai/Mumbai: US national Ken Haywood’s wife Anne Marie, in her statement to the anti-terrorism squad (ATS), has said that she had seen two youngsters going up to the terrace of their Palm Beach building with two bags on their backs a few days prior to the Ahmedabad bomb blasts.

Anne, who is an accent teacher in a multinational company’s call centre, said in her statement to the ATS that she had seen the two, who appeared to be in their early twenties, climbing the staircase and heading to the terrrace.

No mention of youths’ entry in Sanpada bldg register
Mumbai: Anne Marie, wife of American Ken Haywood from whose Internet Protocol address the terror email was sent, said although she had seen two youths go to the terrace of their Gunina apartment before the Ahmedabad blasts, she could not remember the exact date the duo visited the building.

Anne said she was standing outside the door of her flat, 1503, in the evening when she noticed them. The ATS is probing the origin of a terror mail which was sent to some TV channels claiming that an outfit, Indian Mujahideen, was behind the blasts.

“Anne has given the description of the two youths and we are now making further inquiries into that direction,’’ confirmed ATS additional commissioner, Param Bir Singh. The youths, according to Anne, had entered the building in the evening and she did not see them using an elevator. “Both were ordinary looking and had bags on their back. I couldn’t make out what they were talking about,’’ Anne is believed to have told the police. The police has been saying that there is a possibility that Haywood’s IP was hacked and someone used it. She told the police that since the terrace door was locked so the youths returned within sometime.

The two boys were reportedly not residents of the building. More surprising is the fact that there is no mention of the youngsters’ entry in the building’s register. “The watchmen have also been questioned and we are working on the information from Anne,’’ said Singh. The police are preparing the boys’ sketches. Anne could not say if the boys came in a vehicle.

The Times of India, August 1, 2008