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American journalist returns to U.S. after 2-year captivity in Syria

After nearly two years of captivity by Sunni extremists in Syria, American journalist Peter Theo Curtis was released and on Tuesday arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was greeted by his mother.
By JC Finley   |   Aug. 27, 2014 at 9:02 AM   |   Comments

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BOSTON, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- American journalist Peter Theo Curtis, who was was held captive by Sunni extremists in Syria for 22 months, has returned to the United States.

Curtis, 45, landed in Newark Tuesday evening, where he transferred to a flight to Boston, where he was greeted by his mother, Nancy Curtis.

"I have been so touched and moved, beyond all words, by the people who have come up to me today -- strangers on the airplane, the flight attendants and, most of all, my family -- to say welcome home," Curtis said in a statement.

The kidnapped journalist's journey home began Sunday when he was handed over to United Nations peacekeepers in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights on the Syrian border, given a medical checkup and taken to Tel Aviv, where he boarded a flight to Newark.

The terms of release, negotiated by Qatar, are unclear. Nancy Curtis reached out to Qatar to help negotiate her son's release after her direct negotiations with the kidnappers' intermediaries failed.

Mediation efforts seem to have intensified after Islamic State militants released a video showing the execution of American photojournalist James "Jim" Foley.

Curtis' family said they do not know the details of the negotiated release but that Qatari officials assured them no money was handed over as ransom.

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