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Amanda Lindhout says arrest of alleged kidnapper was 'absolute surprise'

Amanda Lindhout says she was shocked to hear that the RCMP captured her alleged Somalian kidnapper in Ottawa Thursday because she never quite believed the RCMP's investigation would lead to an arrest.

Journalist held captive tells CBC she was overwhelmed with emotion at the news

Amanda Lindhout, who was kidnapped in 2008 while working in Somalia, posted a statement on her Facebook page Sunday thanking police and Canadian officials for the arrest. (Jared Moossy/Handout/Canadian Press)

Amanda Lindhout says she was shocked to hear that the RCMP captured her alleged Somali kidnapper in Ottawa Thursday because she never quite believed the RCMP's investigation would lead to an arrest.

The RCMP announced Friday that they had arrested Ali Omar Ader in Ottawa.

Authorities are saying little about how the Somali national made his way to Canada, where he now faces a criminal charge of hostage-taking.

In an interview with CBC News on Sunday evening, Lindhout said she learned of the arrest Thursday evening when RCMP officers called her up, asked her if she was sitting down and gave her the news.

"I wasn't sitting down and I literally collapsed on the floor on my knees and began to weep. I cried for probably a full five minutes," she said. "I was so overwhelmed with emotion. It's been a long journey."

Lindhout said she knew the RCMP had been working on the case for the past 5½ years. 

She told CBC News it was difficult to see the man's face because it brought back painful memories for herself and her mother, whom Lindhout said had to regularly deal with phone calls allegedly from Ader. 

Lindhout added she does not know what Ader was doing in Canada. 

Earlier Sunday, Lindhout posted a statement on Facebook thanking police for capturing and charging him in the nearly seven-year-old case.

Freelance journalist Lindhout and photographer Nigel Brennan were seized by young gunmen near strife-torn Mogadishu, Somalia, in August 2008. Both were released on Nov. 25, 2009.

Defence Minister Jason Kenney has also commended the RCMP and other international police services involved in getting Ader to Canada.

With files from The Canadian Press

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