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Feds Charge Father, Son With al-Qaida Link

Associated Press | June 8, 2005

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A father and son were charged with lying to federal agents about the son's alleged training at an al-Qaida camp for a mission that a judge said was "to kill Americans whenever and wherever they can be found."

According to an FBI affidavit, Hamid Hayat first denied any link to terror camps, but then told agents he attended an al-Qaida camp in 2003 and 2004.

"Hamid advised that he specifically requested to come to the United States to carry out his jihadi mission," according to the affidavit. "Potential targets for attack would include hospitals and large food stores."

Hayat and his father, Umer Hayat, were arrested over the weekend, FBI agent John Cauthen said Tuesday. Two other men have been detained on immigration violations, he said. The court complaint alleges that Umer Hayat lied about his son's involvement and money he sent for the son's training.

Both men were being held at the Sacramento County Jail. Umer Hayat's attorney, Johnny Griffin III, called the allegations "shocking" but said his client "is charged with nothing more than lying to an agent."

U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter A. Nowinski denied a bail request for the elder Hayat, saying he was a flight risk and a danger to the community.

"He just returned from Pakistan where he built a new home and contributed financial assistance to an al-Qaida sponsored program training his son and others to kill Americans whenever and wherever they can be found," Nowinski said.

Hamid Hayat's attorney wasn't in court, and Nowinski set his bail hearing for Friday.

Umer and Hamid Hayat are American citizens, and the younger man was born in California.

According to reports in the Los Angeles Times and The Sacramento Bee, Hamid Hayat was trying to return to the U.S. on May 29 when the FBI told its Sacramento office that he was on the federal "no-fly" list.

The plane was diverted to Japan, where Hayat was interviewed by the FBI and denied any connection to terrorism. He was allowed to fly to California, but was interviewed again on June 3-4. He then acknowledged spending time at the training camp, the affidavit said.

Cauthen identified the two other men as Shabbir Ahmed and Mohammed Adil Khan. He said he couldn't give any further details, citing an ongoing investigation.

The Lodi News-Sentinel reported that Ahmed is the imam of a mosque in the town, and Khan is the former imam. The Bee reported that the men were detained after meeting separately with Umer Hayat on Saturday.

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