WASHINGTON, DC -- What are we to make of Mohammad Sadiq Howaida who has confessed to his role in the Kenya bombing, and his ties to Osama bin Laden? If past experience is a guide, either we will soon learn that Howaida's confession is bogus, or the truth may remain hidden for a long time.
About six weeks ago, following the India and Pakistan nuclear tests, Iftikhar Chaudhry, a Pakistani, managed to deceive much of the Indian and US media. Chaudhry, calling himself a senior nuclear research scientist, claimed to have defected to the USA, via Canada, to protest plans by Pakistan to launch a preemptive nuclear attack on India.
The Pakistani 'defector,' reported Eric Margolis, Toronto Sun (July 9, 1998), "was offered large sums of money by US newspapers for his story. India's media trumpeted Chaudhry's allegations. So did some conservative US newspapers, which have been warning of a sinister plot by Iran, China and Pakistan to target Israel with nuclear weapons." Chaudhry turned out to be a lowly book-keeper for a bathroom tile manufacturing firm in Pakistan!
During the World Trade Center bombing trial, the New York Times reported that the evidence that Sheikh Rahman even knew of the plan to bomb the World Trade Center, and other buildings in New York, was scant. The government's primary witness against Sheikh Rahman was an FBI informant, Mr. Emad Salem, who confessed to lying under oath in a previous trial.
Six months before the World Trade Center bombing, the FBI terminated Mr. Salem after he failed several lie detector tests. Following the bombing Mr. Salem was rehired, said the NYT, for a fee of over $1 million. Sheikh Rahman, convicted in the World Trade Center bombing, may well be innocent.
Such is the world of geopolitics, and global terrorism.
[Sep 4, 1998 Washington Post, in story titled "Bombing Suspect Alleges He Was Bullied Into Confession," Page A08, reported Mohammad Sadiq Howaida, also known as Abdull Bast Awadh and Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, "says Pakistani investigators refused to let him eat, drink or sleep for three days until he was pressured into a false confession."]
[Tanzanian national Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, 36, was accused of joining the
1998 al Qaeda bomb attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that
killed 224 people. A U.S. jury in November found him guilty of one count of
conspiracy to damage or destroy U.S. property with explosives but cleared
him of 284 other conspiracy and murder charges.--Basil Katz, "U.S. judge
sentences ex-Guantanamo detainee to life," Reuters, January 25, 2011]