American-born terrorist gets 24 years

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hamid Hayat, an American citizen who recently turned 25, was sentenced Monday to 24 years in a federal prison. Hayat was convicted in April, 2006 of providing material support to terrorists and lying to FBI agents about it.

The California man was intending to attack hospitals, banks, grocery stores and government buildings in California according to prosecutors.

Following the conviction and sentencing, the U.S. Attorney’s office filed to oppose a request by defense attorneys to have Hayat serve his sentence in one of two federal penitentiaries in California to serve out his 24-year sentence.

According to the Stockton Record, Defense attorneys Dennis Riordan and Wazhma Mojaddidi made a request September 11 that U.S. District Court Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. recommend the 25-year-old Hayat serve his term in either Atwater (north of Merced) or Victorville (in the Mojave Desert) federal prisons.

In a position statement issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office September 12, the prosecution said the Bureau of Prisons, not defense counsel, "should weigh the “unique issues” of the case and decide which federal penitentiary a convicted terrorist serve his term." The U.S. Attorney's office did not mention other prisons to be considered for Hayat's incarceration.

The F.B.I. said in a statement that Hayat attended an al-Qaeda training camp in Pakistan between October 2003 and November 2004, and later returned to the United States.

Federal Judge Garland Burrell Jr. was quoted saying "[Hayat was] willing to wage violent jihad when directed to do so". He was first arrested in June 2005 after an investigation into the Pakistani community in Lodi.