FBI Adds Chebbi to Most Wanted List

Faical Chebbi is wanted for abducting his two children to Tunisia against custody orders

The FBI added Faical Chebbi, the father of two Oakton schoolchildren, to its Most Wanted list for international parental kidnapping.

According to an FBI affidavit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Chebbi picked up his two children Nov. 11 for a weekend visit as part of an Oct. 26 custody order from the Circuit Court for Prince George's County — the same court that granted the divorce of Faical Chebbi and Édeanna Johnson-Chebbi in January 2011.

Johnson-Chebbi said she received a phone call from her ex-husband Nov. 12, during which he said, "This is the worst phone call of your life. I have the kids, we're in Tunisia," 

Before being taken to Tunisia, the children attended schools in Oakton — Eslam, now 6, at  and Zainab, now 3, at , both on Hunter Mill Road. They've been in Tunisia since November, when their father, Chebbi, violated U.S. custody orders prohibiting him from taking them out of the country.

Chebbi was able to obtain Tunisian birth certificates and passports for his two children through the Tunisian Embassy, said Johnson-Chebbi, a Fairfax resident who has accused Tunisian officials of enabling the kidnapping.

According to the FBI, Chebbi speaks Arabic, English and French, and may travel out of Tunisia to Algeria, Libya, Egypt and France. To cross borders illegally, he may use an alias, which the FBI lists as Facial Ben Abdallah Chebbi.

"What our investigation has revealed is that Chebbi is a good manipulator of people," Special Agent Jeff Johannes said in an FBI podcast Wednesday.

Johnson-Chebbi has been battling for custody through the Tunisian court system since January. She returned to court Tuesday for a ruling, but it has not yet been released. Johnson-Chebbi told supporters on her Facebook page, Return US Home, she expected a ruling within the next few days. 

Earlier this year, the Eastern District of Virginia charged Faical Chebbi with international parental kidnapping. Chebbi has also been listed on the wanted list for Interpol, the world’s largest international police organization.

"Thank you to the FBI, and a very tremendous special agent, who has stepped up their efforts to see Eslam and Zainab home!" Johnson-Chebbi wrote on her Facebook page following the news Faical Chebbi is now listed on the Wanted List.

Click here to read more about this case.

Robert F. Dorr July 12, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Much has changed, for the better, in the way the U.S. government assists with cases like this. In the 1970s, as American consul in Monrovia, Liberia, I assisted a U,S.-resident American citizen mother whose child had been abducted by its Liberia-resident Liberian citizen father. The case went to the Supreme Court in Liberia, where I attended and monitored proceedings. The Liberian court ruled that since the father had a valid court order in Liberia awarding custody, he could keep the child. The mother had an equally valid order from a U.S. court. Far from putting anyone on a "most wanted" list, the U.S. government took the position that this was a domestic dispute with equal legal claims on both sides and that nothing could be done. As an embassy official, I was able to observe but was powerless to intervene. The child remained with the father.
Jimmy Traitor January 18, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Faical Chebbi, Owner/operator of Westwind Limo Company in Tunisia. Associated with WESTWIND LIMOUSINE of Dayton, Ohio-owned by JAMES P. BOLINGER. Westwind Limousine owner, James P. Bolinger WAS reported to the FBI in Ohio in 1998/1999 for violating Federal Laws concerning "Copyright Violations". The FBI REFUSED to Investigate/Prosecute James P. Bolinger. Had they done their job, would a young girl in Florida still be alive today, would YOU still have your children? There are questions about Bolinger being a "Traitor to the Constitution of the United States", sure makes me wonder.


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