& # 39; Hello & # 39 ;: Facebook message to journalist Amanda Lindhout from her kidnapper brought him to court
Ali Omar Ader (photo) was sentenced to 15 years in prison in Canada for orchestrating the kidnapping
Journalist Amanda Lindhout was able to help authorities arrest her Somali prisoner, Ali Omar Ader, who held her for ransom when she was raped after he reached her on Facebook and & # 39; Hello & # 39; said.
Lindhout, whose poignant and gruesome imprisonment saw her and her friend, Nigel Brennan, abducted in Somalia in 2008 for 460 long and cruel days, because the group of young hostage takers demanded $ 1.5 million for each of them – was terrified when she became the main kidnapper message her.
Dateline spoke with Lindhout, her mother and an undercover cop with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, in a poignant interview that was broadcast on Sunday evening, proving that it was the one small Facebook message that Adam finally tried.
We always refer to this operation as the orphan greets, & # 39; said a researcher at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who remained anonymous because he is still undercover.
& # 39; We did not think it would work. And while it went on … we were surprised ourselves. & # 39;
Journalist Amanda Lindhout, from Canada, was held hostage in 2008 for ransom in Somalia. She and her then friend – photojournalist Nigel Brennan were released 460 days after they were abducted after their families had given thousands
The mother of Lindhout, Lorinda Stewart, negotiated the freedom of her daughter
Lindhout was 26 years old and worked as a freelance journalist in Mogadishu when she and Brennan were taken prisoner when they met armed men on the side of a road.
While in captivity, Adam contacted her mother, Lorinda Stewart, in Canada to demand a ransom.
In the course of months Stewart was terrified when she negotiated the release of her daughter with Adam.
I would not be here now if it was not for my mother & # 39 ;, said Lindhout to Dateline. My mother gave me life and she saved my life. & # 39;
In the months following her release from imprisonment, Lindhout received a message on Facebook that just & # 39; Hello & # 39; read.
& # 39; It was so scary that he could find me even though I was safe and around the world and I was home & # 39 ;, she said.
She immediately called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and began a five-year undercover operation to bring the man she knew as Adam to justice.
The undercover agent, who pretended to be a media professional, and Adam spoke at length.
Adam eventually told the agent that he was well educated and wanted to write a book about Somalia.
& # 39; That's us & # 39 ;, the researcher told Dateline.
It fits perfectly with what I knew of this man & # 39 ;, said Lindhout. "He struck me as the kind of guy whose ego was so big … of course, if someone told him that he is capable of writing a book, he would think so. & # 39;
As things progressed, the investigator convinced the kidnapper to meet personally on an island in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa to sign a book deal.
During the meeting, after burying a clause in the contract that would encourage Ader to reveal details of his past – which would include Lindhout's kidnapping, he confessed.
& # 39; In my head I danced. It was amazing. You could not ask for better proof, "the researcher said.
It was not enough, however, because the authorities on the island would not allow the operation to be recorded on video.
So they had to lure Ader to Canada. That was successful.
Once Ader was in Ottawa, he confessed his past, while hidden video cameras were rolling in the hotel room, where they would continue their conversation under the excitement of a book deal.
Lindhout (left) was only 26 when she traveled with the 36-year-old Australian photographer Nigel Brennan (right) to the volatile capital of East Africa, Mogadishu in 2008. They are shown in this file photo of 2009 in Somalia & # 39; s capital Mogadishu after they were liberated
These photos show Somali security forces at the presidential palace in the war-torn Mogadishu, on July 14, 2018. Lindhout was kidnapped from Mogadishu when she went to a refugee camp to tell a story
Finally, 460 days after the capture, Lindhout (left in 2014 with a book she had written) and Brennan (right in 2008) were released
And when Ader and the investigator left the room, they were both arrested.
"They have both handcuffed us, led us in different directions," said the researcher, who remained undercover during the boarding. & # 39; I went for a beer. He went to prison. & # 39;
Vein, or Adam, was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison, five years after receiving a message with the & # 39; Hello & # 39;
When asked if it was worth the Lindhout kidnapper to bring to justice, the investigator said: "Absolutely."
Brennan published a memoir for the Price of a Life in 2011, while Lindhout released a memoir, A House in the Sky, in 2013.