PENINSULA: Border agents, area residents happy with Ahmed Ressam conviction

PORT ANGELES — Residents and federal border agents close to the Port Angeles arrest of Ahmed Ressam rejoiced when jurors convicted the Algerian of all nine terrorism-related charges.

“I really can’t say very much, but we’re very pleased with the verdict,” said Diana Dean, the U.S. Customs Service inspector credited with pulling over Ressam at the city’s waterfront port of entry.

“It was certainly what we hoped for.”

The North Olympic Peninsula’s incredible brush with international terrorism ended Friday when a federal jury in Los Angeles convicted Ressam, 33, of nine counts involving the rental car full of bomb materials and explosives that he drove off the MV Coho ferry Dec. 14, 1999.

When Dean and other Customs inspectors began questioning Ressam at the Port of Entry on Railroad Avenue, the Algerian bolted down Laurel Street.

As two inspectors gave chase, Ressam tried a carjack in an attempt to get away.

Carol Loth, a Safeway clerk store clerk, escaped Ressam’s carjacking attempt as she sat in her car at a red light at the corner of Lincoln and First streets.

“I knew the jurors were going to convict,” Loth said Saturday, calling the trial’s outcome “well deserved.”

For the complete story see Sunday’s Peninsula Daily News, on sale in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

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