Peter Theo Curtis is finally on his way home after what had to be a terrifying two year abduction.
The American journalist has been held for almost two years by Al Qaeda in Syria after being kidnapped near the Turkish border in 2012, but he is safely outside of Syria and on his way to meet loved ones this Sunday. This is welcome news in the wake of the tragic and disgusting execution of American journalist James Foley. Curtis was released to a UN representative, as reported by Al Jazeera and now confirmed by the White House.
The White House released a statement from National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice:
For two years, we have kept Peter Theo Curtis, a U.S. citizen held hostage in Syria, in our thoughts and prayers. Today, we join his family and loved ones in welcoming his freedom. Theo is now safe outside of Syria, and we expect he will be reunited with his family shortly.
Just as we celebrate Theo’s freedom, we hold in our thoughts and prayers the Americans who remain in captivity in Syria. Notwithstanding today’s welcome news, the events of the past week shocked the conscience of the world. As President Obama said, we have and will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to see that the remaining American hostages are freed.
Today, the American people share in the joy and relief that Theo’s family feels, and we look forward to his safe return home. We will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of all Americans who are held overseas so that they can be reunited with their families as well.
President Obama vowed to be vigilant and relentless about the return of American hostages. CNN reported that Curtis was held by the al-Nusra Front, a less extreme Al Qaeda group than the ISIL, which brutally murdered Mike Foley.
Today’s release is but one in many, but it’s welcome good news for the country and his family and friends. A reported 67 journalists have been killed in Syria since the uprising in 2011, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.