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American receives jihadist training in pakistan terror camp { June 11 2005 }

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Pakistan PM Denies Terror Camps Exist
Associated Press Writer

8:20 PM PDT, June 11, 2005

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan The prime minister on Saturday denied the existence of terror camps in Pakistan, adding that he is seeking information from the FBI about an American accused in the U.S. of receiving jihadist training here.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz's comments came a day after a federal judge in Sacramento, Calif., refused to grant bail to Hamid Hayat, 22, and his father, Umer Hayat, 47.

The men, both Americans, were arrested this week on charges of lying to federal investigators after what the FBI said was an investigation into possible connections between some residents of the predominantly Pakistani community of Lodi, south of Sacramento, and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.

A federal prosecutor has said the younger Hayat traveled repeatedly to Pakistan where he "learned to kill Americans."

Umer Hayat said his son was drawn to jihadist training camps in his early teenage years while attending a madrassa, or religious school, in Rawalpindi, a city near Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, according to an FBI affidavit.

But Aziz said Saturday there are no terrorist training facilities in Pakistan. "There are no such camps," he said.

The FBI affidavit had initially said the younger Hayat was preparing to attack specific targets -- mainly hospitals and shopping centers. But officials have since downplayed that report, saying there was no specific terrorist threat or target.

The arrest of the two men has strained relations between many of the Pakistani residents of Lodi. Moderate and fundamentalist Muslim factions in the community have accused each other of contacting the FBI.

FBI officials have said, however, that the investigation began years ago.

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