Canadian police have arrested a Somali man for his role in the kidnapping of two foreign journalists who were held in Somalia for more than 15 months before being freed.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner James Malizia announced the arrest Friday of Ali Omar Ader nearly seven years after Canadian freelancer Amanda Lindhout and Australian photojournalist Nigel Brennan were kidnapped by gunmen on Aug. 23, 2008. They were released in November 2009.

Malizia says the man, arrested Thursday in Ottawa, was a negotiator within the group that carried out the kidnapping.