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'It could have happened to anybody'
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August 01, 2008 16:48 IST

The investigations into the serial blasts in Ahmedabad [Images] had led the police to Kenneth Haywood, an American national and a resident of Navi Mumbai.

The e-mail by Indian Mujahideen [Images], claiming responsibilty for the deadly blasts, had been sent from Haywood's IP address.

According to reports, the police had raided Haywood's residence and seized his computers. The police also asked him and his family not to leave the country.

In a press release to the media on Friday, Haywood proclaimed his innocence:

Although this has been an extremely stressful time for me and my family, our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have lost family members and friends in this horrific act of terror. My family and I have lived in India in the same place for one year, and have found the Indian people as a whole to be friendly and helpful in every way. I manage a Company specialising in Executive Soft Skills such as International Protocol, and public speaking. My wife is not employed, but is assisting our two teen aged daughters with their studies.
I found out about the blast at about 10 pm on Saturday night when awakened by a phone call asking me if I owned a cyber cafe. After answering no, and knowing I had nothing to do with the situation, and knew nothing of it, I returned to sleep. Shortly there after I was awakened by members of the Anti-Terrorism Squad, who further explained that my IP address had been accessed by the terrorist.
I have been told from the very beginning that I have never been a suspect, have cooperated fully, even to the extent of volunteering my computers and router to aid in the investigation. No property of mine was ever 'seized' by the government. I want to help them capture whoever is responsible for the blasts.
I have not been served with any legal order not to leave India, and have possession of all my family members' passports. The media has taken some giant leaps in my case that can not be supported by the facts. The American Consulate, my advocate and my company have all been informed that I am not a suspect in any form.
I made my home here in this nation and have been the victim of something that any citizen here with wireless net access could have been.
Again, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed, and we pray that the perpetrators are captured immediately.
Thank you
Kenneth Haywood

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