Faical Chebbi wanted for kidnapping children, taking them to Tunisia

Zainab and Eslam are believed to still be with their father, Faical, in Tunisia. Photo: FBI

A former Prince George's County resident has been placed on the FBI Washington Field Office's Wanted Fugitives List in connection with the paternal kidnapping of his young children.

FBI officials say that 40-year-old Faical Ben Abdallah Chebbi, a dual citizen of the United States and Tunisia, took his children back to North Africa last November and refuses to send them back to the United States. The mother of the children, 3-year-old Zainab and 6-year-old Eslam, lives in Fairfax County.

Chebbi and his wife, Edeanna, got a divorce in October of 2011, after which he was granted visitation rights. On Nov. 11, officials say he picked Eslam and Zainab up from their grandparents' house in Prince George's County and was supposed to return them two days later. However, on the day he picked them up, Chebbi and the children flew traveled from Washington Dulles International Airport to Tunis.

MORE: FBI "wanted" bulletin for Faical Chebbi

On Nov. 12, the FBI says Chebbi contacted the Edeanna and told her that he and the children were not returning to the States. In December, nearly a month after her husband and children went overseas, she went to the Tunisian Embassy in Washington to plead for help. She had previously warned Tunisian officials that Faical may try to flee the country with Eslam and Zainab.

A hold was placed on both of their passports, but apparently to no avail. A friend of Edeanna has also previously accused the embassy of ignoring passport regulations in this case and giving the children illegal documents.

"I know that they will be back," she said in December. "Justice will work."

The FBI is asking anyone with information about Chebbi or the two children to contact officials at 1-800-CALL-FBI or contacting any American Embassy.