Ice Cream Jihad and Keystone Kops Updates from AP, with thanks to PRCS:
SACRAMENTO – Umer Hayat was jailed for a year, branded a liar by federal prosecutors and forced to sell his house to his brother to pay his legal bills.
Still, the naturalized U.S. citizen said he loves his adopted country and harbors no grudge against a justice system he claims was coercive in its pursuit of a terrorism case that could send his oldest son to prison for three decades.
The Lodi ice cream vendor was released from federal custody Friday and spoke to reporters about the federal terrorism case that has left him broke and his family life in turmoil.
“I lost my house and I lost my job, and right now we’re living in the garage with my family, which is difficult for us,” Hayat, 48, said outside the federal courthouse. “We lost everything for nothing.”
Hayat and his 23-year-old son, Hamid Hayat, were arrested in June 2005 and charged with lying to federal agents about whether the younger man attended an al-Qaida training camp in Pakistan in 2003.
Hamid Hayat also was charged with providing support to terrorists for attending the camp. He was convicted in April and is awaiting sentencing.
The same jury deadlocked on the charges against his father. Umer Hayat later pleaded guilty to lying to a customs agent about trying to bring $28,000 into Pakistan three years ago. He variously claimed the cash was for wedding gifts or to buy a house for his family.
“I still love this country,” Umer Hayat said. “We are Muslims and we are peaceful people. … I hate terrorism.”
During Hayat’s sentencing hearing Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. gave him credit for time served, fined him $3,600 and ordered him to spend the next three years on supervised release. A tracking device was removed from his ankle,
“We think the sentence imposed by the court is wholly appropriate, given the false statements Umer Hayat made in 2003 and 2005,” Assistant U.S. Attorney S. Robert Tice-Raskin said outside the courtroom. “We believe justice has been served.”