Mother of American Arrested in Egypt Says She's Ecstatic About his Release

PHOTO: 3 American students arrested in Cairo

The mother of one of the American students detained by Egyptian authorities said today she's "ecstatic" that her son is being released, though there's still uncertainty about his whereabouts.

The three college students -- Derrik Sweeney, a 19-year-old Georgetown University student; Luke Gates, a 21-year-old Indiana University student; and Gregory Porter, a 19-year-old Drexel University student -- are going through the bureaucratic ordeal of getting released from jail, and are still at the police station near Tahrir square, sources told ABC News. It is unclear when they will be able to leave the police station.

It's a matter of going through paperwork which has been described as "excessive," according to a friend of the students.

Sweeney's mother, Joy, told ABC News that she last received an update today at 6 a.m. from Consul General Roberto Powers, who told her that the boys had been transferred to the attorney general's office. She has yet to hear directly from her son and phone calls to his cell phone have gone unanswered, she said.

The past 48 hours have been the "longest of my life," Sweeney told ABC News, adding that she was elated to hear the news of her son's release.

"I'm so excited. I'm ecstatic," she said. But there is "still a little bit of uncertainty. I'd love to be booking a plane ticket right now."

Derrik Sweeney, who was studying Arabic in Cairo, was originally scheduled to return home right before Christmas. But before he can make his way back to the United States, Sweeney will have to find his passport. Joy Sweeney said her son did not know where his passport had gone.

VIDEO: Egyptians protest militarys failure to hand over government to civilians.
Egypt Violence Intensifies; Americans Arrested

The three students, who were served Thanksgiving dinner by the U.S. Embassy, will leave the country and return to the United States when they are released.

Sweeney, Gates and Porter were in Egypt for the semester to study at the American University in Cairo. They were arrested outside Cairo's Interior Ministry earlier this week for allegedly throwing molotov cocktails at authorities during the recent protests. Video that aired on Egypt's Nile TV showed three young men and the Indiana driver's license of one of them.

The three young men denied any wrongdoing.

"It's all too ridiculous to be true. I don't believe my son would do it," Sweeney said.

She last spoke to her son Wednesday morning after his arrest.

Americans Flee Cairo
Americans Flee Cairo

"He said they didn't do anything wrong. None of them did," she said. "He was absolutely terrified. Kind of overwhelmed by everything that had transpired. You could tell this was a life-changing experience for him."

Gates, the oldest of the three boys, tweeted about the scene in Tahrir Square before the arrest, saying he felt "reckless."

"It's only scary cuz I feel so reckless," he wrote. "Live bullets ... I was here!!"

"Wish the protests in New York looked like the ones in Tahrir," he tweeted.

Egypt has once again been rocked by violent clashes between the military and the public calling for an end to the country's military government.

In a repeat of the uprising that took out President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year, tens of thousands of protestors have once again gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square to demand an end to military rule. Egyptian officials said parliamentary elections would still go forward on Monday, despite the widespread violence.

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