Two American teenage boys, allegedly kept against their will at a radical Islamic madrassa in Pakistan, have been released and are on their way back to the United States.
The boys' release followed an appeal by Republican Rep. Michael McCaul and Democratic Reps. Gene Green and Henry Cuellar. The Texas congressmen had called on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to intervene.
Noor Elahi Khan, 17, and Mahboob Elahi Khan, 16, are from the Atlanta area. Noor and Mahboob were born in the United States to Pakistani parents and lived in this country until being sent to Karachi several years ago by their father, an Atlanta taxi diver.
A family member said that the boys were sent to the Binoria Institute to learn to memorize the Koran, which the family believed would enable the entire clan to gain entry to heaven. A source told FOX News that the family wanted the boys back but were afraid to speak out because of potential religious and political repercussions.
FOX News learned Thursday that the boys were released and are scheduled for an afternoon landing at the airport in Atlanta.
The boys' story became known after documentary filmmaker Imran Raza went to the madrassa and filmed the boys' alleged radicalization.
Raza fears that despite these two boys' release, dozens or even hundreds more U.S. citizens might be going through similar ordeals.
"This pipeline to jihad must be closed," Raza said Thursday in a written statement.
The three congressmen brought the issue up with Musharraf during a trip last week to Pakistan to discuss military affairs. Musharraf told the congressional delegation that he has been trying to close this particular madrassa, according to Green.
McCaul told FOX News that Pakistan has 20,000 madrassas, and he knows of at least 80 Americans studying in them.
FOX News' Jonathan Serrie, Chad Pergram and Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.