Journalist Peter Theo Curtis has returned home to the United States, two days after being freed by a Syrian extremist group that held him hostage for 22 months, his family said.
Curtis family spokeswoman Betsy Sullivan said in a statement that Curtis arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport on Tuesday afternoon after leaving Tel Aviv.
By evening he had been reunited with his mother Nancy Curtis at Boston Logan International Airport.
“I have been so touched and moved, beyond all words, by the people who have come up to me today — strangers on the aeroplane, the flight attendants, and most of all my family — to say welcome home,” Curtis said in the statement.
He also said he was “deeply indebted” to the US officials who worked to get him released.
Curtis, 45, of Boston, was released by al-Nusra Front, a Sunni extremist group.
Last week, journalist James Foley, who also was kidnapped in 2012 while covering the Syrian uprising, was killed. The Islamic State group posted a Web video showing his beheading.
The extremists said they killed the Rochester, New Hampshire, resident in retaliation for US air strikes targeting Islamic State positions in northern Iraq.
Curtis’ mother said she was “overwhelmed with relief” that her son had been returned to her. “But this is a sober occasion because of the events of the past week,” she said.
“My heart goes out to the other families who are suffering.”
US freelance journalist, Austin Tice of Houston, disappeared in Syria in August 2012.
He is believed to be held by the Syrian government. [NYP]