Father of Al Qaeda Camp Attendee to Be Retried for Lying to FBI

Federal prosecutors will retry an ice cream vendor on charges that he lied to the FBI about his son's presence at a terrorist training camp, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said Friday.

Scott said the retrial of Umer Hayat, 48, was important "in the post 9-11 environment."

"Lying to the FBI in the course of a terrorism investigation is serious misconduct," Scott said in a statement.

Hayat's first trial ended in a mistrial last month after the jury said it was deadlocked. Later that day, a separate jury convicted his son, Hamid Hayat, of supporting terrorism by attending an al-Qaida training camp in Pakistan and lying to the FBI.

"False information may result in agents losing valuable time to foil a deadly plot, or perhaps bringing the wrong person or persons under suspicion. Seven citizens serving as jurors in the Umer Hayat trial found beyond a reasonable doubt that he had lied to the FBI about his son's attendance at a terrorist training camp," Scott said.

U.S. District Court Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. set June 5 for the selection of a new jury.

Umer Hayat, of Lodi, was released from federal custody Monday after Burrell lowered his bail from $1.2 million to $390,000. Hayat, a naturalized U.S. citizen, will remain under house arrest in the Central Valley town.

His 23-year-old son, also a U.S. citizen, was working at a cherry-packing shed when he was arrested and faces up to 39 years in prison when he is sentenced July 14.

The FBI began focusing on the 2,500-member Pakistani community in Lodi shortly after the September 2001 terrorist attacks. Agents initially were interested in pursuing a tip that Lodi businesses were sending money to terror groups abroad.