ADAM AND JASON SHANNON – FAMILY ABDUCTION August 22, 2001 – USMCC000141LTWH – UPDATED 05.16.2013

ADAM AND JASON SHANNON

Lights For Adam and Jason Shannon Flier

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Adam Shannon Post Abduction

Adam Shannon Post Abduction

Adam Shannon

Adam Shannon Post Abduction

Adam Shannon Post Abduction

Date of Birth: February 9, 1997

White Male

Height: 3’6”    Weight: 35 lbs

Hair: Brown     Eyes: Brown

Missing: August 22, 2001     From: Rosedale, MD

Adam Shannon

Adam Shannon

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Jason Shannon

Jason Shannon

Jason Shannon

Date of Birth: January 10, 2001

White Male

Height: 1’10”    Weight: 20 lbs

Hair: Brown     Eyes: Green

Missing: August 22, 2001     From: Rosedale, MD

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Adam and Jason were abducted by their non-custodial mother, Narmeen Khalifa.  Adam and Jason’s parents had divorced and the separation was anything but amicable.  Narmeen was an alcoholic at the time, and her behaviour was unpredictable, which was a reason for Michael being awarded custody of Adam.  However no one could have predicted how over one weekend, the Shannon families’ lives would be torn apart.

Michael Shannon

Michael Shannon

Michael Shannon, the boys’ father, recalls his hesitancy to allow his children to go to New York on that fateful visit.  Michael having sole custody of Adam, insisted that Khalifa’s visits with their son be supervised by a third party.  While Khalifa has custody of Jason, she was not allowed to take him out of Maryland without Michael’s consent.  When Khalifa’s mother, Afaf Khalifa, flew in from Cairo, she asked Michael if they could take the boys to New York for a visit with relatives, and she assured Michael that they would return the boys in 4 days.  Reluctantly, Michael agreed, not want to deprive his sons from knowing their entire family.  Michael never imagined when saying goodbye to his sons for the weekend, that he would never see them again, he never imagined he would be thrust into the nightmare that he was.  It is 12 years later, and he is still living in that nightmare.

Adam and Jason Shannon

Adam and Jason Shannon

Michael never even knew his sons had left the country until he went to pick them up, and all he found was a ransacked apartment.  The scene hit him hard as he quickly pieced together what he believed had happened.  When Michael went to the property manager at the apartment and asked what happened, the manager told him that there had been an international moving company’s truck outside of the apartment packing up the house that weekend.  It took two weeks after this day for his worst fears to be confirmed, when he received a phone call from his oldest son, Adam, then 4, telling him that he was not even in America anymore.  The distraught 4 year old asked his father, his hero, when he was coming to pick him up.  As his heart was breaking, he told his son that he was coming as soon as he can.  He never imagined that he wouldn’t see his sons again, not even photos of them growing up a country away and just out of his reach.  His sons are now 16 and 12, and he has never seen a photo of them past the ages of 4 and 1.

Adam Shannon

Adam Shannon

Michael, remembers vividly his unease about allowing the boys to go to New York, and even recalls stating to his father, “It’s not like she can take them to Egypt, I have their passports locked up in a safe, how could she even get out of the country?”.  It was a loophole, surrounding those very passports, that set the following circumstances into motion.  At the time that Adam and Jason were abducted, just one parent could simply call the State Department and report a child’s passport had been lost and receive a new one.  This loophole is the very one that Khalifa used to bring her children to Egypt.  It quickly became clear that Afaf was a co-conspirator with her daughter planning her grandsons’ abduction weeks in advance.  She participated in the planning and removal of the children, planning out the explanation she could use to have Michael release his son’s into her care for the weekend.

In the late spring of 2002, Mike Shannon, Adam and Jason’s half brother, was monitoring the internet hoping to find any clue of where his brothers were.  Suddenly, Afaf Khalifa’s name popped up in a live chat room.  He recalls asking his Dad what time it was in Cairo, his father replying it was 3 in the morning.  Michael and Mike’s attention was caught, and hope swelled as they realized that Afaf and Osama Khalifa were in fact, at a family owned condominium north of San Diego.  They had flown there, without realizing that Afaf was the subject of an international arrest warrant for her part in aiding and abetting the kidnapping of Adam and Jason.  Michael Shannon figured he would give it a shot and called the home out in San Diego, sure enough, the phone was answered.  Trying to contain his emotions, he then called the FBI, informing them that the Khalifas were in California.  After calling the home themselves and confirming that it was in fact the Khalifas, the San Diego County Sheriff’s kicked in the door and arrested her within an hour.  Afaf spent one night in jail and was then extradited to Maryland.  The Shannon families excitement grew as they believed that they were extremely close to Afaf breaking, resulting in Adam and Jason coming home.  Prosecutors in Maryland offered her a deal, all charges against her would be dropped if Adam and Jason were returned to their father.  The deal was not accepted by Afaf, once again devastating the Shannon family’s hopes of being reunited with the two little boys stolen from them.  A judge heard the case and sentenced Afaf to 10 years in prison on multiple counts, a sentence that was later reduced to 3 years.  Afaf actually began serving her time at the women’s prison in Jessup, Maryland.  14 months passed, when Afaf suddenly disappeared.  She was deported back to Egypt, before anyone, including the state of Maryland, the prosecuting attorneys and even Michael Shannon, knew she had been released from prison.  There has been no explanation given as to how this could happen, and the departments and officials involved in the deportation of Afaf will not comment.

Adam, Jason and Michael Shannon

Adam, Jason and Michael Shannon

The boys’ father believes that his sons were abducted partially because Khalifa’s father in Egypt has 4 daughters and 6 granddaughters, and he needed male heirs to inherit his empire.  When the couple was first married and had Adam, Khalifa’s father offered to buy them a house and basically take care of their every need, providing they live in Egypt.  Michael declined the offer, as his home, and more importantly, his older son from a previous marriage, Mike, 11 when Adam was born, remained in the United States.

Michael and many others also speculate that there may be yet another underlying reason as to why the family is allowed to get away with just pretending that Michael no longer exists.  The boys’ grandfather, Osama Khalifa, was a successful businessman in Egypt who sat on several government boards of then President Hosni Mubarak.  In late 2001 and 2002, in the aftermath of 9/11, the United States was leaning heavily on Egypt and Mubarak for support in the war on terror.  It is speculated that the country may have considered it a bad time to bring up the kidnapping of two American boys by a family with ties to Mubarak.  The circumstances surrounding this entire abduction, do lead credence to the thought that this may have played a role in the lack of cooperation in returning Adam and Jason to their father.

Adam and Michael Shannon

Adam and Michael Shannon

In the beginning, Michael turned to the Egyptian courts for help, even hiring an Egyptian attorney to aide him in enforcing his American custody rights.  The case was filled in 2002, then postponed to 2004.  It was then postponed yet again for another 2 years, and has been dead in the water since with no further action taken.  Michael was helpless, despite all that he, and his lawyers were doing to fight for his sons return, they just simply cannot enforce any laws in Egypt, and Egypt is less than concerned with acknowledging anything regarding a non-Egyptian citizen.  The State Department has been unable to obtain photos of the children for Michael, as the family simply won’t allow it.  Michael has requested welfare wellness visits, and the embassy writes letters to the family, but the family simply refuses them.

Egypt is a non-signatory country to the Hague Convention, and is notorious for its complete disregard for non-Egyptian citizens rights in custody battles.  While the American courts ordered the boys returned to their father immediately, it was quickly clear how powerless these orders were in a foreign country.  Michael’s attorney, Stephen Cullen, states “The bottom line is when we took the American orders to Egypt and asked for them to be – in the lingo of this specialty – domesticated, we are just laughed at.”.  It may be hard to believe, but these custody disputes are more common than you would like to think.  According U.S. Ambassador Susan Jacobs, the State Department’s special adviser for children’s issues, there are at least 22 American custody disputes active in Egypt right now, with half of these cases being over 12 years old.

This case continues on past the abduction of these two little boys and raises questions regarding the billions of dollars in aid Egypt receives from the United States every year, and yet they refuse to acknowledge international law when it comes to returning abducted American children home to the United States.  Many are shocked to hear that the United States is giving a country large sums of money, but not requiring that country to protect American children who have been abducted there.  It is unbalanced, and there is never really an explanation good enough to allow these children to be sacrificed and their families forgotten.

Adam and Jason Shannon

Adam and Jason Shannon

Shannon was left standing very much alone, with little hope to hang onto.  He received a letter from his ex-wife’s sister, Eman, who wrote that the children need to be with their mother because of Islamic law.  She also told him to give up – “force and bad tactics will only serve to put you farthest away from your objective.”.  In a rare interview, Nermeen Khalifa agreed to talk with CNN over the phone.  She makes many accusations against Michael, and in my opinion, plays they inexcusable “I had to do it” card.  Khalifa accuses Shannon of being the alcoholic that kept the family apart, despite the fact that police records show she was charged with assaulting Michael, placed on probation, and ordered to undergo treatment at an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center.  She then attacks the American judicial system, stating it is biased and discriminatory against Arab Muslims.  She states “I left with my kids on my accord to protect myself and my sons, Michael is a manipulator, he’s a liar, and I had to leave.  The system was against me.”  She goes even further by stating that the ruling giving Michael sole custody of his sons occurred on 9/11, which just proves that she is a victim of discrimination.  Khalifa had the audacity to state “If he’s so torn up over the boys, why hasn’t he once tried to send them a birthday card, a Christmas card, anything, let alone come here so that he can see them?”.  She claims all of this despite the evidence that Michael has tried every avenue possible to contact his children and Khalifa and her family have denied, refused and ignored every single attempt.  When asked why she never allowed Michael to have a photo of his son’s, she claimed that no one had ever asked her to.  She finished with the statement that Michael could come to Egypt to see his sons at anytime.

Despite the innocent role that Khalifa is attempting to play, her true colors have shown through on numerous occasions.  Michael shared the emails he had received from Khalifa, emails which further go to show the true vindictive character of this woman that claims to be a victim.  In one email, she actually goes off in a profanity laced rant, calling Michael’s new wife “another old hag”, and telling him to give up hope of “ever again getting even a whiff of anything of mine.”.  She further went on to attack Michael’s mother, Betty, after a close brush with death, stating “Good riddance.  Another one to feed the hungry flames of hell.”.  At one point Khalifa admits to telling Jason that his father died in an accident.

Adam and Michael Shannon

Adam and Michael Shannon

The one and only time Michael has been able to speak with his son Adam, was on his 10th birthday, and the call was nothing short of devastating and heart breaking.  It is clear that in the time since Michael had last seen his sons, they had been told lies and coerced into believing terrible things that are simply not true.  Adam told his father “I hope bulldozers knock your house down and they burn your house”.  This is NOT a comment a little boy being encouraged to have a relationship with his father would make.

CNN picked up the story of Adam and Jason Shannon, and have worked extensively with Michael Shannon in efforts to spotlight his sons’ case, breathing new life and new hope into their case, and also working to inform American citizens of what is happening in Egypt when American children are taken to the country.

What you will see next is heart breaking, and horrifying.  CNN went to Cairo and located the apartment where Khalifa lives with Adam and Jason, now young men, and were able to obtain video of the two boys leaving the apartment for school.  When Michael was shown the video, he did not even recognize his sons and became emotional when the realization set in that his sons, are not the little boys they were when they were ripped away from him anymore.  When Khalifa was confronted with the video, she stated they were not her sons and then threatened to sue CNN if the images were broadcasted.  Sure sounds to me like in that one statement, she verified that not only were these boys in fact Adam and Jason Shannon, but that her claims of allowing Michael to see his sons, and every other statement she has made to date, are a complete fabrication.  When asked why she would sue if these were not her sons, she did not respond.  Shortly after this, CNN in the United States received a phone call from a young man claiming to be Adam.  He asked that most of the call be off the record but did allow CNN to record the following quote about his mother, “She’s a great caring mother, very considerate and she does whatever I ask her.  If I asked her this moment to take me to the United States and give a ticket, she would proudly do it without hesitation.”  It is amazing what parental alienation can do to obscure the perception of two innocent children as they grow up amidst lies about their father.

CNN shows the video, but has blurred the faces of the two boys, yet the emotion of the moment is not diminished.  You can link to the video below.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/12/world/kidnapped-to-egypt

Despite the more than a decade long battle in bringing his sons home, Michael is able to maintain the hope that when they turn 18, they will leave Egypt on their own, and learn the truth about what has happened.  The truth about their father, that he has never stopped loving them, and he has never stopped fighting for them.

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Nermeen Shannon

Nermeen Shannon

Nermeen Shannon

Date of Birth: January 4, 1969

White Female

Height: 5’7”     Weight: 140 lbs

Hair: Brown     Eyes: Brown

Alias Last Name: Khalifa

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If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Adam and Jason Shannon, please immediately contact the Anne Arundel County police Department at:

1-410-222-6145

OR

The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children at:

1-800-843-5678

USMCC000141LTWH

LTWHSLC0084

Parental Child Abduction is Child Abuse 10

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~ by LTWH on March 9, 2013.

One Response to “ADAM AND JASON SHANNON – FAMILY ABDUCTION August 22, 2001 – USMCC000141LTWH – UPDATED 05.16.2013”

  1. For simple clarification, Blake and all persons related to him are citizens of and born in the United States of America and have no ties or marital relations in the Middle East.

    Google Help Find Blake Edward Cleveland

    here is the link:
    http://sites.google.com/site/blakeclevelandmissing12inms/

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