A Pennsylvania mother dressed in a burka, flew to Egypt and took back her son that had been kidnapped by his father two years ago and forced to live as a Muslim.
Kalli Atteya waited until 12-year-old Niko got off the school bus in the city of Alexandria, grabbed him by the arm and brought him into a motorized cart that had been waiting. He had recognized his mother by seeing her blue eyes in the slit of the burka disguise.
The pair then went to a safe house where they waited three weeks before returning to the U.S. as they were afraid the boys’ father, Mohamed Atteya, who is wanted by U.S. authorities, would find them, the Daily Mail reports.
The Atteyas divorced back in 2005. In August 2011, Ms. Atteya agreed to meet her ex in Egypt, because his mother was dying. One day in Cairo, Mr. Atteya kicked Ms. Atteya and her sister out of a vehicle they were all riding in and drove off with Niko.
Miss Atteya, 45, hired a Norwegian company to track him down.
“I followed him. I mean, I came really close to him several different times,” she told Fox News.
Niko said his father forced him to live as a Muslim, “which I did not want to do.”
“He said that we lack the morality and the values that their system has. And he said that Americans were so violent, he said we are a rotting society,” his mother added.
The ordeal cost Ms. Atteya some $100,000 and countless hours, false leads and false hopes before finally being tipped off by a local and finding Niko, the Daily Mail reports.