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Terror suspect waives detention hearing

Ex-EWU student indicted with him

MINNEAPOLIS – A Minnesota man accused along with a former Cheney man of going to Somalia to fight with Islamic militants has waived a detention hearing.

The attorney for Salah Osman Ahmed, 26, filed documents Thursday waiving the hearing but did not give a reason.

Attorney James Ostgard said Ahmed agreed to his current conditions of confinement and reserves the right to seek changes to his detention in the future.

Ahmed and another man, Abdifatah Yusuf Isse, a former Eastern Washington University student, were each indicted on one count of providing material support to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim and injure. Ahmed, of Brooklyn Park, was also indicted on two counts of lying to investigators.

The indictment said Ahmed traveled to Somalia to join Islamic militants in December 2007.

A phone message left for his lawyer was not immediately returned. The U.S. attorney’s office declined comment.

Isse, who was arrested in February at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, pleaded guilty in April to federal charges that he provided support to terrorists and has been cooperating with the FBI’s investigation, according to court documents.

Ahmed and Isse are among as many as 20 Twin Cities men believed to have gone to Somalia to fight for terrorist groups. Family members say at least three of the men have been killed in Somalia, including Shirwa Ahmed, who officials say was the first known U.S. citizen to carry out a suicide bombing when he died Oct. 29.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew a socialist dictator then turned on each other, causing chaos in the African nation of 7 million. Islamic insurgents with alleged ties to al-Qaida recently intensified their efforts to capture the capital city, Mogadishu.

Dozens have been killed and wounded in recent days.


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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.