A father and son from a small farming town in California were indicted yesterday on charges that they lied to FBI investigators about their ties to terrorist training camps in Pakistan.
Hamid Hayat, 22, was charged with two counts of making false statements to federal agents. His father, Umer Hayat, 47, was charged with one count of the same crime. They face prison terms of up to eight years on each count.
The June 5 arrests roiled the town of Lodi, Calif., and were followed by immigration arrests of three others in the San Joaquin Valley south of Sacramento. The arrests stem from a lengthy probe of possible ties between some members of Lodi's sizable Pakistani community and al Qaeda, federal officials have said.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to preliminary charges and are being held without bond.
The three-page indictment handed up yesterday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento alleges that Hamid Hayat lied on June 3 and 4 to FBI agents by denying attendance at a "jihadist training camp" and saying that he never received weapons training there. Umer Hayat was charged with lying about his son's activities and his own alleged links to such camps. Yesterday's indictment does not mention al Qaeda.
Two other terrorism-related indictments were also handed up yesterday in federal courts. Arwah J. Jaber, a University of Arkansas graduate student, was accused of providing material support to Palestinian Islamic Jihad by seeking to join the organization. Ronald A. Grecula of Bangor, Pa., was indicted on the same charge in Houston for allegedly telling undercover FBI agents that he wanted to build a bomb for al Qaeda.