American writer and journalist Peter Theo Curtis, who was held captive for nearly two years by Syrian militants Jabhat al-Nusra, returned to the United States Tuesday, two days after his captors released him, his family said.
Curtis, 45, flew from Tel Aviv, Israel, arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, and then flew on to Logan International Airport in Boston, where he met his mother, Nancy Curtis, according to a statement from his family.
"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," he said, according to the statement.
He also thanked the "U.S. officials who have worked on my case" and the government of Qatar.
His mother said she was "overwhelmed" to have her son home.
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"I am overwhelmed with relief that this day has come and my son is standing beside me," Nancy Curtis said. "But this is a sober occasion because of the events of the past week. My heart goes out to the other families who are suffering."
Theo Curtis had been held for 22 months by Syrian terrorist group Jabhat Al-Nusrah, a different terror group than ISIS, whose extremists have been blamed for beheading U.S. photojournalist James Foley.
Curtis was handed over to United Nations peacekeepers in Al Rafid village, located in the Golan Heights region between Syria and Israel, Sunday evening, 6:40 p.m. local time, according to the United Nations. He received a medical check-up before he was given to U.S. officials. After he was freed, Nancy Curtis said she got the chance to briefly speak with him on the phone.
Curtis' return home came as U.S. officials said they were closing in on identifying the ISIS executioner who killed Foley. Prior to his death, Foley had been held hostage by ISIS for two years.
Released Hostage Peter Theo Curtis Back in US