SACRAMENTO, April 25 — A federal jury on Tuesday convicted a 23-year-old Pakistani-American on terrorism charges hours after a mistrial was declared in the case of his father, who had been charged with lying to investigators to conceal his son's activities.
The younger defendant, Hamid Hayat, showed no emotion as Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. of Federal District Court read the jury's verdict after nine days of deliberation. Mr. Hayat was arrested in June 2005 and charged with providing material support of terrorism and lying about it after investigators said he attended a camp run by terrorists in Pakistan sometime between October 2003 and November 2004.
The case arose from an investigation of the small Muslim community in the nearby farming town of Lodi, where, after the Sept. 11 attacks, investigators suspected men were financing terrorist groups abroad and recruiting members.
But the Hayats, both United States citizens of Pakistani descent, were the only people charged, and the government never revealed what, if any, was the specific plot. Instead, it portrayed the arrests as a preventive measure so that Hamid Hayat, who prosecutors said was committed to jihad, or holy war, could not carry out any orders.
"Today's verdict makes clear that we can prevent acts of terrorism by winning convictions against those who would plot to commit violence against our citizenry in the name of an extremist cause," McGregor W. Scott, the United States attorney here, said in a statement. ..The case relied heavily on a paid informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation whose credibility came under question during the trial and videotaped interrogations of the Hayats without their lawyers present and in English, which both speak with difficulty. The men confessed in those interviews, but defense lawyers attacked them as filled with leading questions and said they were done under duress.
But what troubles me is the statement:
"Today's verdict makes clear that we can prevent acts of terrorism by winning convictions against those who would plot to commit violence against our citizenry in the name of an extremist cause."
Robert Tice-Raskin, the assistant United States attorney, said in his closing statements that Hamid Hayat had a "jihadi heart and jihadi mind," referring to an inclination for holy war. Those stirrings led him to train at a terrorist camp in northwest Pakistan, he said.
The government never presented evidence that Mr. Hayat had been in Pakistan, instead relying on the disputed admissions he made to agents.