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Judge approves release Pakistani father charged in terrorism probe

A federal judge approved the release of a Pakistani father charged in a terrorism probe with his son, despite acknowledging the older man is potentially dangerous and likely to flee if released.

Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. upheld a magistrate's decision to release Umer Hayat, 47, on $1.5 million (1.24 million) bond. The order came over the objections of federal prosecutors, who have said Hayat is a serious flight risk.

Hayat, 47, is charged with lying to federal investigators about his son's attendance at an al-Qaida training camp in Pakistan.

Hayat's 23-year-old son, Hamid, remains in federal custody and is charged with supporting terrorism and two counts of lying to investigators. Federal prosecutors say he attended the terrorist training camp in 2003 and 2004.

Both Hayats are U.S. citizens. They were arrested in June shortly after returning from Pakistan.

In his 20-page ruling, Burrell wrote that Umer Hayat "could pose a danger to the community because of his apparent association with individuals engaged in a holy war against the United States."

He also said Hayat "appears to have access to a significant amount of cash from an unexplained source" that could help him flee if released with no restrictions.

But, the judge said, prosecutors failed to prove that Umer Hayat would endanger the community if he is released with intensive monitoring.

Umer Hayat would face a number of restrictions if released. He could not leave home and would have to wear an electronic-monitoring bracelet. His telephones would be monitored, and he would have to relinquish any weapons and his passport.

If Umer Hayat were to flee, his extended family would forfeit five homes valued together at $1.5 million (Ђ1.24 million). Burrell gave prosecutors until Nov. 3 to challenge the value placed on the property, meaning Hayat will not be released at least until then.

U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott said in a statement that he was disappointed with the decision and would consider whether to appeal, reports the AP. I.L.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team