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April 11th, 2013
10:45 PM ET

Dad can't get kidnapped sons back

Editor's note: Tune in to AC360° at 10 p.m. ET tonight to watch the special report, "Kidnapped to Egypt: A Father's Nightmare." 

Nearly 12 years ago, Michael Shannon sent his two young sons to New York for what he thought what be a weekend visit with their mother.

It would be the last time he saw either one of them.

Nermeen Khalifa, the boys' mother and Shannon's ex-wife, took the children to her home country of Egypt, where U.S. citizens have almost no rights in custody battles.

"They were out of the country before we even knew they were gone," Shannon said. "I went to the apartment to pick them up. It was like it was ransacked."

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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Reed

    The wife was an alcoholic that refused treatment and was loosing custody of the kids because she was an unfit mother.
    All she was doing was following the money trail back to Egypt (The country She claimed She hated) to live the good life.
    She was thinking only of herself when she made this move, not of her her husband or her children!

    April 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  2. Sentekin Can

    A very sad story and a loose+ loose situation unfortunately for either side. Also Imagine how bad would be for a mother too loose the custody of her kids due to discrimination. Years ago my wife and I met a couple , American husband and Turkish wife in St.Louis with a boy. Later we learned that they were divorced and judge gave the boy to husband and because the wife was not an American citizen she was sent back to Turkey. We are sure thatif she was an American woman she definitely would have the custody of the boy. Life is never fair unfortunately.

    April 13, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
  3. Ixida

    I just have these questions for the mother: What would have happened to her if she had done that in an Arab Muslim country? Had she dared? Would her life have been spared?

    April 13, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
  4. Julie Pearson

    I agree with Rob. I'm not sure why you went to Egypt for this story when we have a serious problem here in the U.S. with the same thing. One parent is denied visitation and the court's do nothing about it. Most of the time it is the dad. In my opinion it pushes the father over the edge and this is why we have women and children killed by the non custodial parent.

    April 13, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  5. Justine

    Horrible, the story the woman told dosen't add up. It shouldn't take the man nearly 12 years to even see a photo of his children. I'm glad CNN interviewed this man and spent time in Egypt to try and get the real story. It sounds, to me, like this woman tried every way possible to prevent any contact between the kids and their father. I'm positive if the man tried to visit his sons she would deny him. She loves her children, but she's not telling them the truth. Giving them anything they want, so they won't ask to leave. I cannot wait for the day when they can finally leave and find the truth for themselves. This lie she is creating in her mind is an excuse. An excuse to keep these children from their father.

    She kidnapped them.
    It's still illegal.
    It's still wrong.
    Point ended.

    April 12, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
  6. Tamer

    Well you represent the situation from one side. we don't know the mother defense. anyway as an Egyptian, if the mother is a Muslim, he would not get the kids unless he converted to Islam. I'm not sure if she was a muslim when you married because muslim women are not allowed to marry non-muslim and egyptian authority would never recognize the kids as egyptian so something sounds wrong in the story

    April 12, 2013 at 2:28 am |
    • Maha

      True Tamer and also how father had custody in USA money at court???? bravo to her. Also how easy she get the new passport please give a break!!!

      April 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  7. Rob

    Certainly a sad story. You have the same thing going on right here in the states yet no one wants to investigate this dirty secret. You have the story of the year here. Wish we could get the media to expose it. It would shock you in more than one way. Just need that person in a position to make a difference who wants to.. Is it you? I hope so.

    April 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm |