Adam Whittington on the moment Sally Faulkner's children believed they were going "home".

The head of Child Abduction Recovery International (CARI), Adam Whittington, has broken his silence over the botched 60 Minutes child abduction plot in Beirut earlier this year.

Whittington, who spent nearly four months in jail in Lebanon following the incident, spoke to Channel 7’s Sunday Night about the failed attempt to publicly abduct Sally Faulkner’s two children from their father in Lebanon.

Ali el-Amine had taken the couple’s children from Australia to Beirut in May 2015 with Faulkner’s permission, then refused to bring them back. CARI was then commissioned to retrieve the children.

Heartbreakingly, Whittington recalls little Lahela and Noah being overjoyed when they believed they were coming back to Australia with their mother.

“I spent 20 minutes with Sally and the kids in the safe house. They were so happy. All they kept saying [was], ‘Mummy we’re going back to Australia, we’re going back to home.”

Adam Whittington. Image: Sunday Night.

This wasn't the first time that Whittington had undertaken a complex retrieval operation for children. The former soldier had previously been involved in the successful retrieval of more than 170 kids.

Importantly, he says he doesn't regret his choice of career, describing the best part of his work as "the satisfaction of teeing these children reunited with their mother or father."

Whittington's Sunday Night interview largely focused on the way that Channel Nine handled the incident. He said the network paid Faulker's children's father $500,000 to drop kidnapping charges against the 60 Minutes crew members but leaving Whittington and his team imprisoned.

Absurdly, the cheque was intended to free the "working team" - but for some reason, that deal did not appear to include half the number who worked on the operation.

Whittington missed his son's fifth birthday while he was incarcerated overseas, but that wasn't the worst of his experience. In the Lebanese jail, he witnessed more awful things than he can count, from the relatively benign "maggots in the drinking water" to the horrific "treatment" program of an apparently gay fellow inmate.

Sally Faulkner and her children. (Image: Facebook)

“[Nine] turned it into an absolute joke the way they acted and behaved in Beirut to get what they wanted," Whittington claims.

Whittington continues to face criminal charges in Lebanon, where he has been released on $26,000 bail.

With his freedom hanging in the balance, one thing is very clear to him: "We're not doing any more jobs like this. I'm not risking my family."