Dateline | September 06, 2013
>> narrator: amanda and nigel had been in captivity for might ha have -- for five months, but it wasn't until she was taken out into the desert with a knife to her throat that she actually thought she would be killed.
>> as the day grew closer and then came and went, i realized that that was a fear tactic, but more importantly, i just could not continue to let myself live in that dark place in my mind. i had to become stronger.
>> narrator: amanda and nigel each in separate rooms had discovered if they stood in just the right spot, they could hear each other. they began to talk about getting out.
>> nigel had begun investigating in the bathroom and thought we might be able to escape out that window. which at first seemed like an impossible idea.
>> narrator: from that window, they plotted a an escape.
>> the mortar that held those bricks in place was crumbling and we had a pair of nail clippers that our captors had given us.
>> nail clippers ? little tinny ones.
>> narrator: every day they chipped away, hiding their work by stacking the bricks up again. each brick loosened meant they were that much closer to freedom until one day the hole was big enough. they had heard the daily calls to prayer so they knew a mosque was nearby. their plan was to jump down and head there to safety. that was the plan, at least.
>> from the moment i dropped down out of that bathroom window, i knew it was bad.
>> narrator: nothing outside looked like they thought it would. before a neighbor spotted them, they ran.
>> we did find the mosque and right before we stepped in, i looked back and i saw one of our young captors standing about 20 feet away.
>> narrator: weak and winded from running for the first time in five months, amanda and nigel ran into the mosque hoping someone there would help.
>> abdullah is coming?
>> abdullah chases me me around the mosque again.
>> narrator: their kidnaps would stop at nothing to get them back.
>> it must have been crazy.
>> people running and shouting and screaming, more people coming into the mosque with guns.
>> narrator: amanda struggled to make sense of the chaotic scene. the men finishing their prayers were confused as well. then it was the unlikeliest person who stepped forward to try and help amanda . someone she'll never forget.
>> she came directly over to me and she embraced me and she called me her sister in english. it was the first woman that i had seen in about five months and when she hugged me and held on to me, it was the first time in that five months that i felt something akin to being safe. i just clung on to her and i started pouring out my heart to this woman. telling her about abdullah 's sexual assaults and she began pleading with my captors to let me go.
>> narrator: the captors circled amanda , guns drawn, they grabbed her and began dragging her out of the mosque . just then the somali woman made her boldest move.
>> that woman threw herself on top of me and was drug part way across the floor with me until she couldn't hang on anymore. and right before they pulled me out the door of the mosque , i looked back and i saw her on the floor, she had tears pouring down her face and she still had her hands outstretched to help me.
>> you don't know whatever happened to that woman?
>> no, i don't.
>> narrator: after such a brazen attempt, her kidnappers would make sure she would never again have