File photo of Peter Theo Curtis, courtesy of his family. Curtis is a journalist who was being held hostage in Syria and was just released.
File photo of Peter Theo Curtis.
Curtis Family

Kidnapped journalist and Boston native Peter Theo Curtis was released by his captors, according to Al Jazeera and The New York Times. Curtis was released to United Nations representatives on Sunday after nearly two years in captivity.

A family friend confirmed on Sunday that Mr. Curtis, originally from Boston, had been handed over to a United Nations representative. The family friend spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Al Jazeera initially broke the story late Sunday morning. According to the news network, it’s still unclear which organization was holding Curtis and where he was being held.

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From Al Jazeera:

Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut, said the Islamic State group has used hostage taking to extract money from governments, but it was still unclear which group was behind Curtis’ kidnapping.

“In many cases prisoners change hands between groups, so it’s very hard to track down which group holds which hostage,” she said.

Curtis was captured October 2012 in Turkey as he attempted to enter Syria, according to Al Jazeera. In a June 30 recording viewed by both organizations, Curtis identified himself as a Boston resident.

The news of Curtis’s releases comes days after Rochester, New Hampshire’s James Foley was beheaded by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Foley had been captured on Thanksgiving day in 2012. The terrorist organization had sent emails to Foley’s parents in the days leading to his execution. It was later learned the US had tried and failed to rescue Foley while he was in captivity.