Port Angeles: Algerian caught with explosives to testify against alleged terrorist pal

The Algerian convicted of trying to smuggle powerful explosives off a ferry into Port Angeles will be the star witness at the trial of an alleged accomplice.

Ahmed Ressam, who is serving a 140-year sentence in a federal lockup near Seattle, will be flown to New York to testify against Mokhtar Haouari, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

The Times and other Los Angeles news media have become increasingly interested in Ressam after it was revealed that the explosives found in the trunk of a rented car at the Port Angeles ferry landing Dec. 14, 1999, were intended to blow up Los Angeles International Airport.

Haouari, a fellow Algerian immigrant to Canada, provided $3,000 in cash and a false driver's license to support the still-mysterious plan to attack an American target on Dec. 31, 1999.

The plan was thwarted when Customs inspectors at the Port Angeles port of entry detected an irregularity. Ressam bolted and was chased through downtown Port Angeles.

He was eventually tackled and arrested at First and Lincoln streets. Customs officials found nitroglycerinelike substances and bomb timing devices in the trunk of the rented Chrysler 300M that Ressam drove off the ferry MV Coho.

Details appear in today's editions of the Peninsula News, on sale throughout Clallam and Jefferson counties. Or click onto “Subscribe” to get your PDN delivered to your home or office.

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