A man was arrested last week for his alleged role in the 2008 kidnapping of Amanda Lindhout in Somalia.
RCMP in Ottawa last Friday announced that Ali Omar Ader had been arrested in Ottawa on June 11 — five-and-a-half years after Lindhout, a native of Sylvan Lake, was released following 15 months of being held hostage in Somalia.
It’s not clear how Ader ended up in Canada, although police said last week that the arrest was made following an extensive investigation referred to as Project Slype.
Lindhout responded to the news through her Facebook page last Friday, saying she was “stunned” to have learned of Ader’s arrest.
“For more than five years now, I’ve met regularly with a team of investigators from the RCMP as they’ve worked on this case. They’ve been confident all along that they would eventually make an arrest, though it was always clear they were facing difficult and dangerous conditions. I’m not sure I ever quite believed it would happen,” she wrote.
Lindhout said she was contacted several hours after the arrest by an RCMP officer who asked if she was sitting down. She said her knees gave out upon hearing the news, and she began to thank the several RCMP officials who were on the line.
“I told them that night how proud I felt to be Canadian. I was, and always will be, humbled by the fact the RCMP has worked so hard on my case all these years, never wavering in its pursuit of my kidnappers.”
RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia in a statement last Friday commended Lindhout and Australian citizen Nigel Brennan — with whom Lindhout was taken — for their role in the investigation that led to Ader’s arrest.
“I wish to acknowledge Ms. Lindhout and Mr. Brennan, and their families, for their tremendous courage and for providing witness statements that greatly assisted in advancing the investigation,” he said. “This arrest is a testament to the investigative team’s perseverance, and I wish to thank them for their excellent work.”