Attorney: 3 arrested US students on way to airport

Derrik Sweeney. (Photo: Facebook)

(AP, ABC7) - An attorney for one of three American students arrested during a protest in Cairo says they've been released and are on their way to the airport.

Philadelphia lawyer Theodore Simon represents 19-year-old Drexel University student Gregory Porter of Glenside, Pa.

Simon wouldn't immediately discuss the students' destinations, but one of their mothers says they're expected to fly to Germany.

Joy Sweeney says her 19-year-old son Derrik will then fly to Washington and on to St. Louis late Saturday night. Derrik Sweeney is a Georgetown University student from Jefferson City, Mo.

Joy Sweeney says her son will fly from there to Washington on Saturday and then on to St. Louis, where he'll arrive late Saturday night.

Sweeney says she's "ecstatic" and plans to make her son a belated Thanksgiving dinner.

The three college students who attend the American University in Cairo were arrested Sunday on the roof of a university building near Cairo's Tahrir Square. Officials accused them of throwing firebombs at security forces fighting with protesters.

An Egyptian court ordered their release Thursday.

Sweeney, Porter and 21-year-old Indiana University student Luke Gates attend the American University in Cairo.

On Thursday, an Egyptian court ruled that Sweeney and two other students, who have been held on suspicion of throwing firebombs, be set free. .

"All these prayers that have come in our way have been answered," Joy Sweeney, Derrik's mother, said.

At first, Sweeney's parents celebrated the news, but the release was initially put on hold until Sunday. Joy had to deliver that news to her son.

"I said, 'Well, you know you're not going home now,'" Sweeney said. "There are two things of paperwork from immigration and national security that they do not have yet."

In a statement, Georgetown President John J. DeGioia sais that the "entire Georgetown community is deeply grateful to all those whose prompt attention and work led to their release."