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American held in Syria freed after nearly 2 years

August 26, 2014 • National News


In this image made from undated video obtained by The Associated Press, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a man believed to be Peter Theo Curtis, a U.S. citizen held hostage by an al-Qaida linked group in Syria, delivers a statement. The U.S. government said on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014 that Curtis, who had been held hostage for about two years, had been released. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the U.S. mourned an American journalist beheaded by Islamic militants, the nation found something of a reprieve with the release of another freelance reporter who had been held hostage for nearly two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria.

Peter Theo Curtis, who wrote under his birth name of Theo Padnos, was freed Sunday, offering consolation to U.S. officials, a journalism community and family members deeply unnerved by the grisly video of James Foley’s beheading in a desolate desert landscape.

Curtis’ father, Michael Padnos, said Curtis spoke to his mother in Boston Sunday night and that he seemed to be in good physical health.

Padnos said his son was in Tel Aviv and would be flown back to Boston once he is ready to travel. Padnos praised the work of the U.S. and other governments in getting his son freed.

“We are very thrilled, and we hope the same thing is going to be true for all the others (journalists held),” said Padnos, speaking in a telephone interview from a boat outside Paris.

Curtis’ release appeared to have been aided by the oil-rich nation of Qatar, which said Sunday that it had “exerted relentless efforts” to win the American’s freedom. Qatar is a leading supporter of the Syrian Login to read more

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