SACRAMENTO – Vastly different pictures emerged today 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 his 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 and 2004 to train at the camp. They also said he was awaiting information 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.”
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…