Less than a week after ISIS released a video showing the execution of American photographer James Foley, another American journalist has been safely released from captivity by an Al Qaeda affiliate. Peter Theo Curtis, who was originally abducted by the Syria-based Nusra Front nearly two years ago, was handed over to a United Nations officer. The news was originally broken by Al Jazeera.
“Particularly after a week marked by unspeakable tragedy, we are all relieved and grateful knowing that Theo Curtis is coming home after so much time held in the clutches of Jabhat al-Nusrah,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement Sunday.At the time of his capture in October 2012, Curtis was allegedly trying to enter Syria in order to teach English there. On June 30, his kidnappers released a video showing that he was alive and well.
The journalist’s release was reportedly brokered by the Qatari government. During his time in captivity, the United States solicited help from some two dozen countries in trying to arrange for his release, according to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Another American journalist, photographer Matthew Schrier, was also held captive by the Nusra Front for seven months. He escaped on July 29, 2013.
“Every waking hour, our thoughts and our faith remain with the Americans still held hostage and with their families, and we continue to use every diplomatic, intelligence, and military tool at our disposal to find them and bring our fellow citizens home,” Kerry said in the statement.