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American Journalist Hostage Is Freed By Syrian Group

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Original Published: 8/25/2014

An American held hostage for nearly two years is free. Journalist Peter Theo Curtis was taken to Tel Aviv following his release Sunday, by a Syrian group linked to Al Qaeda. The U.S. rejects paying ransoms for hostages, but it's not known whether anyone else paid Curtis' kidnappers. His freedom come days after another captured American, James Foley, was executed by the militant group, ISIS. An American journalist held in Syria by Islamist rebels for close to two years was released on Sunday. Peter Theo Curtis, 45, is believed to have been captured in October 2012 and held by the al-Nusra Front, a Syrian rebel group with ties to al Qaeda. "My heart is full at the extraordinary, dedicated, incredible people, too many to name individually, who have become my friends and have tirelessly helped us over these many months," said Curtis' mother, Nancy Curtis. "Please know that we will be eternally grateful." The United Nations said Curtis was handed over to U.N. peacekeepers in the Golan Heights, which is under Israeli government control, and was given a medical checkup. White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Curtis was safe, no longer in Syria and expected to be reunited with his family shortly. He was on his way to Tel Aviv, according to a senior administration official. The United States was not involved in negotiations for his release but was aware of private efforts to secure the release, two U.S. law enforcement officials said. It's not known whether any ransom was paid, the officials said. Curtis' release comes just five days after ISIS militants released a video of one of its militants beheading American journalist James Foley.

   
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