Amanda Lindhout

January 15, 2019 by Speakers' Spotlight

How Journalist Amanda Lindhout’s Brutal Kidnapper was Brought to Justice

After a five-year undercover investigation, Amanda Lindhout’s kidnapper from her 460-day captivity in Somalia was finally found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison. This past Sunday, NBC’s Dateline spoke with both Amanda and the undercover officer about the dramatic sting operation that led to his arrest.

In 2008, Amanda was abducted by a group of masked men in Somalia where she was working as a journalist. Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda survived on her strategy, fortitude, and hope in the face of unimaginable adversity.

After returning to Canada, she wrote her New York Times bestselling book A House in the Sky, but that was not the end of her story. Just months after her release, her kidnapper, who she knew as Adam, messaged her on facebook, simply saying “hello”. This launched a five-year investigation driven by the RCMP to bring him to justice.

Dateline shared an emotional clip with Amanda, describing what it was like to receive the news that her kidnapper had finally been arrested.

Below is an excerpt from an NBC article detailing the investigation, read the whole piece here.

In the months after her release from captivity, Lindhout received a message on Facebook out of the blue. It read simply “Hello.” It was from the kidnapper she knew as Adam.

“It was so scary that he could find me, even though I was safe and across the world and was at home,” she said.

Lindhout called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police right away, starting what would become a dramatic operation to bring the man to justice.

The investigator with the Canadian police reached out to Ader, posing as a media consultant for Lindhout’s family. The two men then spent the next several years talking and e-mailing, with Ader eventually revealing that he was well educated and he dreamed of writing a book about the history of Somalia.

“That’s our in,” the investigator recalled thinking, adding that their ultimate goal was to bring the man to justice.

“It totally fits in line with what I knew of this man,” Lindhout said. “He struck me as the kind of guy whose ego was so big… of course, if somebody told him he’s capable of writing a book, he would think that.”

The investigator convinced him to meet in person in Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean off of Africa’s east coast, to sign a book deal.

Of course, it was all phony — but Adam didn’t know that. He also didn’t realize that the contract had a trap buried in it, a disclosure paragraph to encourage Ader to reveal details about his past, including the kidnapping of Lindhout.

It worked, and Ader confessed to his participation in the kidnapping.

“In my head I was dancing. It was amazing. You couldn’t ask for better evidence,” the investigator said.

But that still wasn’t enough to bring the man to justice.

Authorities in Mauritius would not allow investigators to videotape the operation, so the Royal Canadian Mounted Police created a means to lure him all the way to Canada.

Using another ruse related to the fake book deal, and a series of convoluted flights, the investigator was able to get Ader to a hotel in Ottawa. There, he confessed to his past — all while hidden video cameras were rolling.

And when Ader and the investigator walked out of the room, they were both arrested.

An internationally renowned speaker, Amanda Lindhout delivers a life-changing, transformational keynote experience. She is an expert on resilience, survival, and optimal mindset, and, through her tale of survival, builds suspense and momentum to reveal life changing insights into mind conditioning, and share actionable takeaways about reframing stories of pain into power.

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