RCMP have arrested a Somali man allegedly involved in the 2008 hostage-taking of Canadian freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout.

Ali Omar Ader, a Somali national, was arrested in Ottawa on Thursday for his alleged role in the kidnapping of Lindhout and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan.

The RCMP did not say how Ader arrived in Canada. But sources told CTV News that agents executed a sophisticated operation that involved several government agencies as well as the Australian police.

The end result was Ader’s arrival in Canada and his arrest.

Lindhout and Brennan were taken hostage in Mogadishu in August 2008 and held for 15 months.

Ader, 37, appeared in an Ottawa courtroom Friday via video link, where the case was adjourned until next Friday.

At a news conference Friday, RCMP said the suspect faces criminal charges for his alleged role as a negotiator in the hostage-taking.

RCMP Asst. Commissioner James Malizia thanked Lindhout, Brennan and their families for providing witness statements, saying they showed “tremendous courage” and “greatly assisted” in the investigation.

Brennan called the arrest “amazing news” in a tweet shortly after the RCMP announcement.

Malizia called the investigation “extremely complex.” He said the effort, dubbed Project Slype, required the use of undercover investigative techniques, surveillance and wiretaps.

“This arrest is a testament to the investigative team’s perseverance and I wish to thank them for their excellent work,” Malizia said in an RCMP statement.

RCMP said they also received help from the Canada Border Services Agency, Foreign Affairs, and the Australian Federal Police in the investigation.

Malizia would not say whether the Somali government participated in the investigation.

Speaking with reporters in Quebec Friday morning, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said that he is “very proud” of the RCMP for pursuing the investigation.

“The result we see today is that those who break Canadian law or attack Canadians will face accusations,” Blaney said. “We will chase them to the end of the world if we have to.”

Lindhout and Brennan have both published memoirs detailing their experiences while being held in captivity. Lindhout’s memoir is called “A House in the Sky.”


Amanda Lindhout

Amanda Lindhout is seen in this undated handout photo.