For 20 minutes, he swam for his life trying to escape. He eventually seized an opportunity to flee and barely made it to his car with two men in pursuit, the community group said.
Though the local police were called shortly after the attack, they failed to respond adequately, the community group alleged. The police classified the incident as a misdemeanor, which means that the attackers may not have to serve any jail time, it said.
The local police also did not file the incident as a hate crime, the group said. 'It is clear from the attackers' references to 'bin Laden' and 'Go back to Afghanistan' and the fact that they kicked off his turban that this assault targeted not only him as an individual, but his Sikh identity.'
However the Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently investigating the matter as a possible federal hate crime after being contacted when the local police department refused to prosecute the attackers for hate crime, the Sikh Coalition said.

Source : http://in.news.yahoo.com/43/20091219/890/twl-sikh-youth-attacked-in-texas.html

Could you please explain to me the highlighted parts?
I know the meaning of "hate = opposite of love", "crime = offence against the law", "federal = union government", but I can't understand them altogether.

federal hate crime

A federal crime is a crime that breaks a law made by a federal government.

A hate crime is a crime that is inspired purely by hatred of a group.

eg In a coffee shop, I hit a Sikh because he bumps me and makes me spill my drink. I have committed a crime, but I didn't do it just because he was a Sikh. So, it's not a hate crime.

eg I see a Sikh on the street. I shout 'All Sikhs are murderers and terrororists', and then I hit him. That's a hate crime. I did it just because I hate all Sikhs.

There is also an aspect of such laws which examines whether I was trying to get others to share my hatred of a particular group.

Best wishes, Clive
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