Lodi resident Hamid Hayat was sentenced Monday to 24 years in federal prison
after a jury convicted him of supporting terrorists and then lying about it to the FBI.
Hayat, who turned 25 Monday, has been jailed since June 2005, when he was arrested during a large scale FBI investigation in Lodi. He had faced a maximum of 39 years in federal prison, though U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. noted his lack of criminal record at sentencing “” but not before issuing strong words about the defendant.
“Hamid Hayat attended a terrorist training camp, returned to the United States ready and willing to wage violent jihad when directed to do so regardless of the havoc such jihad could wreak on persons and property within the United States,” Burrell said as he handed down the sentence.
Hayat, wearing shackles and orange jail clothing, expressed no visible emotion. His mother and 12-year-old sister, seated in the courtroom behind him, cried silently. His father, Umer Hayat, said his son is innocent.
“It’s a sad day for us but we are confident he’s going to get out on appeal,” he said.
Another story at EarthTimes specifies that the case will go to the rather infamous 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Stay tuned.
The defense, as well as the Muslim community, has expressed strong skepticism
of the government’s methods. If nothing else, the government “sent a clear message to the Muslim community that you do not speak to the FBI without a lawyer present,” said Basim Elkarra, executive director for the Central Valley branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Of course the defense did. That’s kind of their job.