A 16-year-old from Florida who journeyed to one of the world's most dangerous places without telling his parents left &to=http://english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/101/397/14569_tiger.html' target=_blank>Baghdad on Friday to begin his journey home, the U.S. Embassy said, drawing to a close an adventure that could have cost him his life.
The mother of Farris Hassan, the prep school junior whom U.S. officials took custody of in Baghdad this week, said she was "grateful" he was headed home. Shatha Atiya said she already knew what her first words would be to her son
"'Thank God you're alive,' then I'll collapse for a few hours and then sit down and have a long discussion about his consequences," she said in Fort Lauderdale.
Consul General Richard B. Hermann on Friday said Hassan "safely departed Baghdad." He reiterated warnings by the State Department and embassy against traveling to Iraq. Forty American citizens have been kidnapped since the war started in March 2003, of which 10 have been killed, a U.S. official said. About 15 remain missing.