Several Americans, including Illinois native Sam LaHood (pictured), are on their way home after being detained in Egypt on accusations they financed protests in that country. LaHood worked for the International Republican Institute, one of several pro-democracy groups whose offices were raided late last year. State Sen. Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap), Sam’s brother, says the U.S. ratcheted up diplomatic pressure upon learning of the detentions, and didn’t let up.
“I think the right result came about because of that pressure that was put out there, and because America stood strong and let the Egyptians know what was at stake here,” says LaHood. Sixteen Americans were released after the U.S. government posted $5 million bond on the condition the individuals later return to Egypt to stand trial, but the U.S. will seek to have charges dropped before then. Darin LaHood says Sam will likely return to his native Peoria sometime next week. Asked what would happen during that much anticipated visit, LaHood said he’ll give his brother a big hug and have a beer with him.