Nancy Curtis Speaks with ABC’s Amy Robach. Photo Credit: ABC News(NEW YORK) — The mother of U.S. writer Peter Theo Curtis, who was freed Sunday after being held hostage for two years by Syrian militants loyal to al-Qaeda, is preparing to be reunited with her son.
“I’ll give him a big hug and probably cry,” Nancy Curtis told ABC’s Amy Robach. “And he’ll probably cry.”
Peter Theo Curtis, 45, of Massachusetts, was held captive for 22 months by Syrian terrorist group Jabhat Al-Nusrah, a different terror group than the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremists who beheaded U.S. photojournalist James Foley.
Curtis’ release comes as U.S. officials say they are closing in on the ISIS executioner who killed Foley last week. ISIS had held Foley hostage for two years prior to his death.
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 checkup before he was given to U.S. officials, and is making his way back to U.S. soil.
Curtis’ family had been working with the U.S. State Department to bring him home since his 2012 capture.
“Theo’s mother, whom we’ve known from Massachusetts and with whom we’ve worked during this horrific period, simply refused to give up and has worked indefatigably to keep hope alive that this day could be a reality,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement Sunday.
The United States reached out to “more than two dozen countries,” asking for “tools, influence, or leverage” to negotiate Curtis’ release, Kerry said.
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