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Canadian Police Arrest Somali Man for Journalists' Kidnapping

  • VOA News

File - Somali national Ali Omar Ader is seen in an undated photo from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

File - Somali national Ali Omar Ader is seen in an undated photo from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Canadian police have arrested a Somali man for involvement in the kidnapping of two foreign journalists in 2008.

Police said Friday that Ali Omar Ader was one of the main negotiators of the group that seized the two journalists -- Canadian Amanda Lindhout and Australian Nigel Brennan.

An assistant commissioner with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, James Malizia, said Ader was arrested Thursday in Ottawa, a few days after he arrived in the country. He said the arrest was the result of an undercover operation in Somalia that included surveillance and wire taps.

Malizia gave few details of the operation, and also declined to say whether the Somali government was aware of the investigation.

"This is an extremely complex investigation, it required the deployment of a number of investigative techniques over a long period of time. In addition, the accused was located in Somalia which made the collection of evidence more challenging," said Malizia.

Lindhout, a Canadian freelancer and Brennan, an Australian photojournalist, were kidnapped in Somalia in August, 2008. They were released 15 months later after a reported ransom was paid. The two journalists say they were kept apart from each other during their captivity and were beaten and tortured.

Brennan tweeted Friday "Amazing news of the arrest of Ali Omar Ader, aka Adan the Somali criminal involved in my kidnapping. Finally Justice will be served!"

Canadian police thanked the journalists and their families for providing witness statements that assisted police in their investigation.

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