BOSTON (AP) -- American journalist Peter Theo Curtis has returned home to the United States, two days after being freed by a Syrian extremist group.

This image provided by the Curtis family shows Peter Theo Curtis in Newark, N.J. on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Curtis, a freelance reporter who wrote under the byline Theo Padno and who had been held hostage for about two years in Syria, returned to the U.S. on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Curtis Family)

A statement released by a family member late Tuesday says 45-year-old Curtis arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport Tuesday afternoon after leaving Tel Aviv. He was later reunited with his mother Nancy Curtis at Boston Logan International Airport.

Curtis says he was "touched and moved" by airline passengers and flight attendants who welcomed him home. He says he's "deeply indebted" to U.S. officials who worked to get him released.

American journalist James Foley also was kidnapped in 2012 while covering the Syrian uprising. The Islamic State group posted a Web video last Tuesday showing his killing.

Curtis is believed to have been held by al-Nusra Front, a Sunni extremist group.

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