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Man at center of alleged Central California al-Qaida 'sleeper cell' challenges conviction

A Central California man found guilty of planning a terrorist attack is appealing his conviction.

Hamid Hayat of Lodi, California, argues that his attorney failed to adequately represent him at his 2006 trial in Sacramento federal court. The 31-year-old is serving a 24-year prison sentence after a jury found him guilty of one charge of supporting terrorism and two counts of lying to investigators for denying he attended a terrorist-training camp in Pakistan.

Hayat's new lawyers argue that their client needed a legal team of experienced lawyers, private investigators and expert witnesses who would have proven his innocence.

A federal magistrate judge last month ordered federal prosecutors to respond to Hayat's 116-page petition to overturn his conviction. The government has 60 days to respond.

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