American journalist held by Syrian militants returns to US

An American journalist held captive for nearly two years by Syrian militants returned to the U.S. on Tuesday, after being freed two days ago, according to reports.

Peter Theo Curtis was released by his captors, Jabhat al-Nusra, an Islamic group affiliated with al Qaeda on Sunday. He flew from Tel Aviv, Israel, to the United States on Tuesday where he reunited with his mother in Boston, his family said in a news release.

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"I have been so touched and moved, beyond all words, by the people who have come up to me today — strangers on the airplane, the flight attendants and, most of all, my family to say welcome home," Curtis said, according to a statement.

He also thanked "U.S. officials who have worked on my case" and the government of Qatar, ABC News reported.

Curtis, 45, was released a week after American journalist James Foley was beheaded by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Curtis's mother, Nancy, said she was "overwhelmed" to have her son home.

"I am overwhelmed with relief that this day has come and my son is standing beside me," she said. "But this is a sober occasion because of the events of the past week. My heart goes out to the other families who are suffering."