ALBERTA

Amanda Lindhout Thanks Mounties For Arresting Man Accused In Her Kidnapping

06/14/2015 11:40 EDT | Updated 06/14/2016 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - Amanda Lindhout crumpled to the floor, crying, as RCMP investigators broke the news to her on Thursday about the arrest of her alleged Somalian kidnapper.

One officer who had stuck with the case over the past five years asked her "Are you sitting down?," Lindhout recalled Sunday on social media.

"There were several RCMP officials on the line as he delivered the news. I was stunned that they’d made the arrest. I was even more stunned that the accused kidnapper was in my home country."

"I had forgotten to sit down, and my knees gave out. I lay on the floor crying, saying the words, "Thank you, thank you, thank you so much," again and again," said Lindhout in a statement that was posted on her Facebook page and was also released by her publicist.

The RCMP announced Friday that they had arrested Ali Omar Ader in Ottawa.

Authorities are saying little about how the Somalian national made his way to Canada, where he now faces a criminal charge of hostage-taking.

But seeing Ader in news coverage of the arrest sparked a range of emotions for Lindhout.

"I find it difficult to describe what it felt like to see his face again," she said.

"It brought up anger, fear, confusion, and also — knowing that he no longer poses a threat to me or to anyone else — a sense of relief."

Lindhout and photographer Nigel Brennan were seized by young gunmen near strife-torn Mogadishu, Somalia, in August 2008. Both were released on Nov. 25, 2009.

Defence Minister Jason Kenney has also commended the RCMP and other international police services involved in getting Ader to Canada.

"There's been some absolutely brilliant and complex policing work done here," Kenney told CTV's Question Period.

"The fact that the RCMP, with other international police agencies, have stayed on the case and brought this investigation to a successful conclusion is a great credit to them."

Ader was arrested Thursday in Ottawa. The RCMP say the 37-year-old had been in town for a few days but the national police force would not reveal how he arrived in Canada.

Ader's case will be back in court June 19th. His lawyer Samir Adam said Friday he didn't have enough information on the allegations against his client to comment.

Successfully prosecuting such a case "depends on a certain level of discretion," RCMP assistant commissioner James Malizia told a news conference Friday.

The RCMP's Ottawa Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, supporting RCMP units and partner agencies have been working on the case ever since the abduction seven years ago, Malizia said.

Details of the lengthy investigation — which involved undercover operations, surveillance and wiretaps — would come out in court, he said.

For now, all that matters is that charges have been laid, said Lindhout.

"I’m grateful that this man has been arrested," she said.

"I am happy that he will be called upon in court to answer for his role in the kidnapping."

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