California: Hamas-linked CAIR applauds as US judge recommends overturning jihad terror conviction

Sunday, January 13, 2019
By Paul Martin

JAN 13, 2019

“The prosecution took advantage of post-9/11 hysteria to convict him,” says Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Sacramento Valley office of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations. But that kind of argument can cut both ways. If Hamid Hayat was convicted because of “post-9/11 hysteria,” might it also be possible that his conviction is being overturned now because of hysteria about “Islamophobia”? U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott says: “It has consistently been our position that Mr. Hayat received effective representation at trial and that his conviction by a jury, subsequently affirmed by the Ninth Circuit, is completely valid.”

Note also this from AP: “The FBI paid an informant $230,000 over three years to infiltrate a Lodi mosque and record conversations with imams and worshippers after he improbably claimed to have seen several high-ranking al-Qaida officials there in the late 1990s.”

Why, exactly, is that improbable? Because Islam is a religion of peace, and the people in the Lodi mosque would have indignantly cast out the al-Qaeda officials? Or is it because al-Qaeda officials never would have dared move about freely in the U.S.? Neither one is necessarily so.

“US judge recommends overturning California terror conviction,” Associated Press, January 11, 2019 (thanks to the Geller Report):

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — A federal magistrate on Friday recommended overturning the controversial 2006 conviction of a California man accused of attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan and plotting an attack in the United States.

Hamid Hayat, now 36, who was then a young cherry-picker from Lodi, has served about half his 24-year sentence.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes said he likely never would have been convicted were it not for the inexperience of his defense attorney, who failed to call alibi witnesses.

“A reasonably competent attorney would have done more to investigate Hayat’s alibi,” Barnes said in a 116-page opinion.

Her recommendation that the conviction be vacated now goes to U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. He presided over Hayat’s original trial, conviction and sentencing and previously rejected a defense motion over whether Hayat was properly represented at trial. Either side can appeal Burrell’s eventual decision.

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