Through the slit of the burqa she wore to blend in on the streets of Alexandria, Egypt, Kalli Atteya waited and watched until the boy climbed off the school bus. When she saw him, she moved quickly, grabbing his arm and steering him toward the waiting motorized cart.
“Get in,” she said to the 12-year-old, who recognized his mother’s piercing blue eyes and obeyed wordlessly.
Soon, they were speeding toward a safehouse where they would wait for three weeks before returning to the U.S., and ending a 20-month ordeal that began with another abduction — one the boy, Khalil Mohamed “Niko” Atteya, did not accept willingly. His father, Mohamed Atteya, who is wanted by the U.S. authorities, is accused of luring the mother and son to his homeland, then snatching the boy and leaving Kalli Atteya and her sister on the side of a desolate road between Cairo and Port Said on Aug. 1, 2011.
“My Dad forced me to be Muslim, which I did not want to do,” Niko, who has been back in Pennsylvania for more than a month, told FoxNews.com.
A world away, he had a determined mother who would spare no expense and even risk her own safety to save her boy. After a torturous struggle that included false leads, false hopes and more than $100,000 spent, Kalli Atteya finally showed what the love and determination of a mom can do.