Trained terrorist or teller of tales?

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Hayat and his father are charged with lying about whether the younger man attended the training camp and have been in custody since their arrests last June. Hamid Hayat faces up to 39 years in prison if convicted of the charges against him – three counts of making false statements to the FBI about attending the camp and with providing material support to terrorists. His father, 48-year-old Umer Hayat, is charged with two counts of making false statements to FBI agents and faces 16 years in prison if convicted. They are being tried together before separate juries, although Umer Hayat was not present in court Thursday. Opening statements in his portion of the trial are scheduled for Feb. 28. Hamid Hayat’s attorney, Wazhma Mojaddidi, said the government has no hard evidence that her client attended a terrorist camp, even though agents were told by a paid informant that he was traveling to Pakistan and apparently knew the location of the suspected camp from U.S. satellite images taken in 2001. “You will not see and they will not prove that Hamid Hayat actually attended a camp,” Mojaddidi told the jury in her opening statements. SACRAMENTO – Vastly different pictures emerged Thursday of a man charged with attending an al-Qaida camp in Pakistan, with government attorneys portraying Hamid Hayat as a trained terrorist intent on attacking Americans while the defense described him as a directionless young man prone to wild storytelling. Prosecutors said they will show the 23-year-old Lodi man traveled to Pakistan in 2003 to train at the camp. They also said he was awaiting word about potential targets after he returned to his family’s home in the heart of California’s farming region. “Hamid Hayat talked about jihad before he even left the United States. He talked about acts of violence, he talked about training camps. He received weapons training while he was there,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Ferris said in opening statements, referring to the Arabic word for “holy war.” “He admitted he went to a jihadist training camp, not once but twice. … He returned to the United States to commit jihad, and he was waiting for orders.” Hamid Hayat was born in the United States and is a U.S. citizen, but Mojaddidi described him as having only a sixth-grade education and said he had never held a steady job. He was working in a fruit-packing shed at the time of his arrest. She also said he was prone to exaggeration and that his statements to the FBI will expose contradictions and inaccuracies. “Hamid Hayat has made statements that are just simply not true,” Mojaddidi said. “You will ask yourself, ‘Wow, why would he say the things that he said?”‘ The informant who grew close to Hamid Hayat before he departed to Pakistan in May 2003 recorded hundreds of hours of audiotapes. In them, Mojaddidi said, jurors will hear the informant describe the younger Hayat as lazy, lacking ambition “and just a big storyteller.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more