Ismail calls

FAUD HASSAN ISMAIL has landed. He "made it safely to the United Arab Emirates," says Seattle Salvation Army spokesperson Mike Seely. "It's not a homecoming, but it's a helluva lot better than dodging bloody swords in Mogadishu."

Ismail, 41, born to Somali parents in Yemen and a U.S. resident for 18 years, was picked up without warning by Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) agents in Seattle in early February (some suspect as part of the post-Sept. 11 random roundup of foreigners) and summarily dropped in warlord-controlled Mogadishu, Somalia.

When last heard from (see "Snatched," March 21), the former employee of the Salvation Army and the Seattle Yacht Club was on the run in Mogadishu. But Seely says Ismail called last week from the United Arab Emirates to say he was secure and apparently has access to his American bank account, in which he reportedly has $30,000 in savings.

His Seattle fiancée, Jacqueline Thompson, says the INS has told her that Ismail, due to a conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia, will not be allowed back into the U.S. "I still can't believe this happened," says Thompson. "He's just gone."

Rick Anderson

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