Wrongfully convicted terrorist suspect released after 14 years in prison

National News

(KCRA) — A California man falsely convicted on terrorist charges and held for 14 years in prison is now free.

34-year-old Hamid Hayat was arrested in 2005 after a trip to Pakistan.

Hayat’s lawyers say while in Pakistan an informant urged Hayat to go to a jihadist camp.

When Hayat returned to the U.S., he told the government about the encounter with the informant.

His lawyers say the government, in part, lied about having photos of Hayat at the camp.

The case drew national media attention and raised concerns about the role prejudice played post-9/11.

“If you attended trial, you would have seen evidence that he was 100% innocent, a 100% innocent. But this shaped a generation of young Muslims that were so shocked they stood up for their community,” Basim Elkarra from the Council on American-Islam relations said.

In a statement, Hayat said he could not describe the joy he felt to be reunited with his family and would never be able to express his thanks to the people who helped set him free.

“I’m still in shock. I can’t believe this day came. I still think this is a dream. I wake up and I still think I’ll be in prison,” Hayat said.

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