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Last Updated: Monday, 10 September 2007, 22:01 GMT 23:01 UK
US man jailed for al-Qaeda links
Hamid Hayat
Hamid Hayat was convicted in April 2006
A US federal judge has sentenced a Californian man to 24 years in jail for attending an al-Qaeda training camp in Pakistan and lying about it.

The judge said Hamid Hayat, 25, had returned home ready and willing to wage violent jihad.

He was arrested in 2005 after returning from a two-year trip to Pakistan.

Prosecutors said he received terrorist training and plotted against targets in California, including banks, hospitals and government buildings.

Father and son

Hayat, a Pakistani American, was found guilty in April 2006 of providing "material support" to al-Qaeda training in Pakistan.

He was also convicted on three counts of lying about it to FBI agents.

He faced 39 years in jail, but the judge set the sentence at 24 years after taking into account this was his first offence.

"It was a sad day for us, but we are very confident he is going to get out on appeal," Umer Hayat, the father of the sentenced man told reporters on the steps of the court after the sentencing.

"He is innocent." he added.

In April 2006, a jury in a separate trial of Umer Hayat failed to agree on charges he lied to the FBI about his son's visit. A mistrial was declared.

Both Umer Hayat, a 48-year-old ice cream vendor in Lodi, California, and his son were arrested in June 2005.

The charge sheet filed in Sacramento alleged that Hamid Hayat provided support for terrorist acts between March 2003 and June 2005.

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