60 Minutes drama: Dad slams kidnappers after crew freed
THE father caught up in 60 Minutes' botched kidnapping story says his mother was 'chucked around" "like a bag of chips'' and 'someone has to pay'.
Ali Elamine says he believes a bogus request for a surfing lesson he received on Facebook was used to get him away from the kids on the day of the attempted snatch.
The client repeatedly asked for the lesson to be at 7am, rather than 8am, even though he explained he needed to drop the children off at school.
Speaking to Kyle and Jackie O Thursday morning on KIIS 106.5, Mr Elamine said he eventually agreed.
His 70-year-old mother instead took the kids to school.
"They did a run on Tuesday and saw me with the kids but never went through with it because they figured I'd fight back.
"And they figured if they get me away then an older lady in her 70s and her helper won't be much of a threat ... to a 6"3 guy," he said.
Mr Elamine denied reports he had received a hefty payment from Channel 9 to have the charges dropped against 60 Minutes reporter Tara Brown and her crew.
"Everyone keeps on saying I got compensated," he said.
"I really hope I get something but my main deal with Sally was dropping the custody - it was all about the custody of the kids, I couldn't care about Channel 9," he said.
Mr Elamine denied unlawfully taking the children himself in the first place, saying he was not even divorced from his Brisbane wife Sally Faulkner.
He said he was aware of the plot because Ms Faulkner appeared to be trying to pinpoint movements during conversations with the children on Skype.
"Please stop what you are trying to do,'' he said he told Ms Faulkner before the attempt.
Mr Elamine said he felt sympathy for the Channel 9 camera crew men who had children and were only doing their jobs.
But he had no sympathy for those leading the kidnapping attempt.
"My mum received a concussion and she had internal bleeding from three different hits,'' he said.
"She is a 70-year-old lady and she got chucked around like she was a bag of chips.''
"Someone did that.
"Someone has to suffer for what they did.''
Mr Elamine said he open to the children seeing his wife and had arranged for a meeting to take place.
He said he had not told the children their mother had been in jail and did not want them to know.
He decided not to take them to see her when she was released because he did not want them to see her in handcuffs.
Mr Elamine maintained the best place for them was in Lebanon with him.
The father said he originally decided the children should stay with him in Lebanon when he heard his wife was with another man.
"Lahela kept on telling me mummy's friends would sleep in the same bed and was always around, and I wasn't OK with that," he said.
"We're not divorced yet so she can't remarry, she obviously figured the only way to get 'em was to kidnap 'em or whatever," he said.
Child Abduction Recovery Network boss Adam Whittington and fellow Briton Craig Michael remain in jail.