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Terrorist suspect indicted in California

Hamid Hayat, 22, one of five men from a Lodi mosque arrested earlier this year, was indicted Thursday on federal charges alleging he planned “to wage jihad in the United States.”
Hamid Hayat, in an undated photograph provided by his family. AP file
/ Source: The Associated Press

One of five men from a Lodi mosque arrested earlier this year was indicted Thursday on federal charges alleging he intended “to wage jihad in the United States.”

Hamid Hayat, 22, was already charged with lying to the FBI about attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan. The new indictment adds the more serious charge of providing material support to terrorists.

Hayat “intended, upon receipt of orders from other individuals, to wage jihad (holy war) in the United States,” the indictment alleges. It says he provided support and resources for carrying out acts of terror between March 2003 and June 2005, when he was arrested.

Prosecutors have said Hayat admitted in videotaped interrogations that he “intended to commit jihad in the U.S. He did not have any orders to fight at present; however, he was awaiting such orders.”

If convicted of all charges, he faces up to 31 years in prison.

Hayat’s attorney, Wazhma Mojaddidi, declined immediate comment.

Hayat and his father, Umer Hayat, were among five men connected to a mosque in the agricultural community of Lodi who were arrested in June after a more than three year federal investigation that authorities say included conversations secretly taped by an informant.

Two deported to Pakistan
Two of the men, Islamic leaders Shabbir Ahmed and Muhammad Adil Khan, were deported to Pakistan after dropping their opposition to immigration charges. Neither was charged with a crime, despite the government’s allegations that they intended to set up a terror training camp in Lodi. Khan’s son also was deported.

During an immigration hearing last month, FBI agent Gary Schaaf testified that Muhammad Adil Khan got orders from a Taliban commander tied to Osama bin Laden and passed them to Ahmed. Schaaf said Hamid Hayat told interrogators he was to receive orders from Ahmed.

Schaaf gave few details of the camp that was alleged to be part of a planned religious school in Lodi, but he said “individuals would be taught ... to commit acts of violence against the U.S.”

Khan and his son were deported last month. Ahmed was deported Wednesday night, said his attorney Saad Ahmad.

The indictment Thursday does not add the more serious charges for Hayat’s father in the investigation of alleged terrorist activity in Lodi, a town of 62,000 about 35 miles south of Sacramento.

Both Hayats are being held without bond pending a hearing Friday.

In a court filing late Wednesday opposing bail, prosecutors said the FBI found a book in Hamid Hayat’s room entitled “Virtues of Jihad” by Mohammad Masood Azhar, who they say is “founder and leader of the known Pakistani extremist group Jaish-i-Muhammed.”

The book “invites every Muslim to join jihad,” prosecutors said.