SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A father and son pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that they lied to authorities investigating links to Pakistani terrorist training camps connected to Al Qaeda (search).
Hamid Hayat (search), 22, is charged with lying to the FBI earlier this month when he said he did not attend a terrorist camp in Pakistan in 2003 and 2004. He was indicted last week on two counts of lying to the FBI.
Umer Hayat (search), 47, was indicted on a single count of lying to investigators when he denied that his son had attended such camps. The FBI said the elder Hayat later admitted flying his son to Pakistan and paying for the camp, which was run by a friend of a relative.
Neither man spoke during Tuesday's hearing. Their pleas were entered by their attorneys as the two men sat cuffed and shackled, wearing orange jail jumpsuits.
The men, U.S. citizens, were previously denied bail. Umer Hayat's attorney, Johnny L. Griffin III, said he wants to see the government's evidence before he asks a judge to set bail.
The FBI alleged in an affidavit that Hamid Hayat returned to the U.S. last month intending to wage attacks but said its agents had found no immediate threat or terrorist activity.
Another hearing was scheduled for Friday to determine whether the government will release all the evidence the defense is requesting, including why the younger Hayat was on a federal "no fly" list. His inclusion on the list led to the diversion of his flight back to the U.S. last month until he was questioned in Tokyo and released.
Griffin said the FBI has spent several years investigating possible links to terrorism in the agricultural town of Lodi (search) about 30 miles south of Sacramento.
"I have a client sitting in jail who's accused of being a terrorist. ... They don't have a case for terrorism, because if they did they would have charged him with that," the attorney said.