In an investigation that has been ongoing for several years, the FBI arrested two Lodi (pop. 62,000), California men -Hamid Hayat, 22, and his father,
Umer Hayat, 47- on charges of lying to the FBI. Pakistanis account for 2,500 of Lodi's residents. Three other local men, including two imams, have
been detained for immigration violations.
Keith Slotter, head of the FBI's central California office, alleges several people committed to al Qaeda have been operating in and around the
tranquil wine-growing region just south of Sacramento.
"We don't want the new slogan to be, 'Come to Lodi and taste our wines and meet our terrorists,"' said Mayor John Beckman, describing
Pakistani-Americans as "a very vibrant, healthy part of the community."
Authorities say Hamid Hayat, 22, returned last year after training in an al Qaeda terrorist camp. His father, Umer Hayat, is alleged to have paid for
his son's training at a clandestine Pakistani camp. Both are charged with lying to investigators.
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Terrorist cells within the United States have been operating for years. In metropolitan areas such as Chicago and Detroit authorities have been
working feverently to penetrate these "cells" and stop the funding of terrorism.
Less publicized are the smaller towns and rural areas where these cells may be in place.
It is increasingly clear that the domestic component of the war against terrorism needs to be revamped at all levels of intelligence and law
enforcement, particularly the smaller agencies and jurisdictions. This would include intelligence-sharing and providing federal funds and training to
state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies.
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