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The Terror Case in Lodi, California: What kind of threat actually existed there?

+ A Synopsis
An overview of the federal government's investigation into a possible network of Al Qaeda operatives in Lodi, Calif., and the trial of Hamid and Umer Hayat.

+ The FBI's Response
FRONTLINE asked the FBI's field office in Sacramento to respond to specific charges made by former FBI agent James Wedick regarding the Lodi investigation. Here is a summary of Special Agent in Charge Drew Parenti's comments.

+ Interview with McGregor W. Scott
Scott was the prosecutor who led the Lodi investigation, which he inherited when he became U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California. In this interview Scott discusses the government's evidence against the Hayats, including undercover recordings made by an FBI informant and the Hayats' confessions.

+ Interview with James Wedick
A consultant for the defense in the Lodi case, Wedick was a FBI street agent and supervisor for 35 years. Wedick discusses here the weaknesses in the government's case and the problems in how it was handled. At the trial, Wedick wasn't allowed to testify; the judge ruled the value of his testimony was "outweighed by its potential for confusing the jury."

+ Interview with Umer Hayat
An ice cream truck driver, Umer Hayat and his son Hamid were the defendants in the Lodi terror case. Here, Umer talks about the FBI's interrogation, why he confessed to visiting an Al Qaeda camp with his son and the impact the case had on his family and community.

+ "Engaging the Muslim Community"
The Lodi case strained relations with the local Muslim community. What are the challenges the government faces in gaining the trust of Muslim Americans while fighting terror? An article by Jeff Kearns, UC Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.

+ The Initial Targets: Two Lodi Imams
The Lodi investigation began as a probe into the two imams at the local mosque, Shabbir Ahmed and Mohammed Adil Khan. Read about the two imams and view a chart, presented by the government as evidence at Ahmed's deportation hearing, that lays out how the imams, along with Umer and Hamid Hayat, were allegedly connected to Al Qaeda, the Taliban and even to Osama bin Laden himself.

SLIDESHOWS
The Lodi Case in Pictures

lodi, calif.

Lodi Muslims: Under the "Eye of Suspicion"
Over the past year, reporter Jeff Kearns made numerous visits to Lodi, Calif., while covering the Hayat case for FRONTLINE and The New York Times. In this audio slideshow, he describes the history of Lodi's Pakistani community and the impact of the Hayat trial. All photos by Jeff Kearns.

hamid

Hamid Hayat: A "jihadi heart and a jihadi mind"?
The American-born son of a Pakistani ice cream truck driver, Hayat was convicted in the Lodi terror case. View his story, some of the evidence presented against him -- including pages from his scrapbook -- and see his family photos provided exclusively to FRONTLINE. Update: On Sept. 10, 2007, Hayat was sentenced to 24 years in prison. His attorneys intend to appeal.

 

+ "The Agent Who May Have Saved Hamid Hayat"
A May 27, 2006 Los Angeles Times profile of retired FBI agent James Wedick who was barred from testifying for the defense in Hamid Hayat's trial. The article also details the agricultural community of Lodi, the Hayat family and the Lodi terror case.

+ "Prophetic Justice"
In the October 2006 issue of The Atlantic, Amy Waldman examines from a slightly different perspective the Hayat trial and the Justice Department's new approach for preventing terrorist attacks: "The United States is now prosecuting suspected terrorists on the basis of their intentions, not just their actions. But in the case of Islamic extremists, how can American jurors fairly weigh words and beliefs when Muslims themselves can't agree on what they mean?"

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posted oct. 10, 2006

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