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.