In 2008, one moment Amanda Lindhout was working as a freelance journalist in Mogadishu, and the next thing she knew, she was kidnapped by a group of Somali men, which included one particular Ali Omar Ader, who was a negotiator responsible for the abduction of Amanda. During her captivity, she was forced to go through an unimaginable and terrifying ordeal, all of which are highlighted in the episode titled ‘The Trap’ of ‘Deadline NBC.’ It also includes interviews with Amanda and the undercover agent who led the international manhunt for the man responsible for her torturous kidnapping. If this case intrigues you and makes you want to get into its details, let’s delve right into it, shall we?
Who is Ali Omar Ader?
It was in 2008 in the capital of Somalia, that is, Mogadishu, where Ali Omar Ader and Amanda Lindhout had their first meeting with each other and it was definitely not a pleasant one, at least for the latter. This is because Amanda was abducted by an unidentified militant group in Somalia, one of whom was Ader. During the 460 days of being their captive, she went through hell as she was frequently assaulted, raped, and tortured. Ader reportedly used an alias of Adam and he was one of the few in the group who spoke English.
Being fluent in English, Ader was the one responsible for interacting with Amanda’s mother, Lorinda Stewart, in Canada in order to ask for the ransom money, during the entirety of the kidnapping. He used to use several torturous and excruciating negotiating methods while talking to Stewart for several months before Amanda’s release from captivity. After the huge ransom was paid, she finally got the taste of freedom again in November 2009.
Even a few months after letting Amanda go, Ader was seemingly not done with her as reports suggest that he sent her a simple “Hello” on Facebook out of nowhere, making her relive all the torture she went through during her captivity. Without wasting any time, she contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and kicked off a dramatic years-long undercover operation to bring the culprit to justice. Soon, Ader got contacted by a media consultant for Amanda’s family, who actually was an undercover agent working for the Canadian police.
Ader exchanged many emails with the agent, revealing details of his personal life such as the fact that he was well educated and wished to write a book about the history of Somalia. The undercover Mountie seized this opportunity and lured Ader to meet in person in Mauritius to sign a book deal of his dreams. Unaware of the fact that it was all a front, Ader signed a contract that secretly included a disclosure paragraph encouraging him to reveal his past, including the details of Amanda’s kidnapping.
Even after being so close to getting the evidence, the mission fell short because Mauritius did not allow authorities to record the operation. After that, Ader fell victim to yet another ruse in regard to the fake book deal and found himself in a hotel in Ottawa this time. After confessing to the kidnapping in the room while the hidden cameras rolled, Ader as well as the undercover agent got arrested as soon as they got out of the room — the former went to prison and the latter celebrated the success of the mission.
Where is Ali Omar Ader Now?
During the trial, Ader claimed that he was forced by someone in the higher ranks, which threatened to cause harm to him and his family if he didn’t oblige, to serve as a negotiator and translator for the gang. However, the jury found his testimony unbelievable so on December 6, 2017, Ader was found guilty and convicted in a Canadian court on the charge of hostage-taking. Months later, in July 2018, the 40-year-old Somali man got sentenced to 15 years in prison for playing a significant role in the 2008 kidnapping of Amanda Lindhout. Currently, the convicted man serves his sentence in one of the correctional facilities or prisons in Ontario.