[Ed. – This whole event was a truly awful story for the two journalists who were taken hostage and held for over a year.]
Canadian police have arrested a Somali man they say was involved in the kidnapping of two foreign journalists who were held in Somalia for more than 15 months before being freed nearly seven years ago.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner James Malizia announced the arrest Friday of Ali Omar Ader.
Canadian freelancer Amanda Lindhout and Australian photojournalist Nigel Brennan were kidnapped by gunmen on Aug. 23, 2008. They were released in November 2009 after a reported $700,000 ransom was paid, some of it by Australian entrepreneur Dick Smith.
Malizia said Ader, arrested Thursday in Ottawa, was one of the main negotiators within the group that carried out the kidnapping.
Malizia suggested that Ader was lured to Canada before being arrested. He declined to reveal how he arrived in Canada but said the suspect was first targeted in Somalia.
He said the arrest was the result of an undercover operation in Somalia that posed significant challenges and included surveillance and wire taps.