Kidnapped author Peter Theo Curtis, held for almost two years in Syria, was safely released today into the Israeli Golan Heights. The family said the terms of his release were not disclosed. A German reporter for die Welt was also released, and while officials said the militants were “given something” for him, they didn’t say what.
The release, fresh off the execution of fellow detainee James Foley, has fueled speculation of a ransom payment, though the family insisted that they received assurances from Qatar, who negotiated the release, that no money changed hands and the release was “on a humanitarian basis.”
The US claimed that they spent years on securing Curtis’ release and engaged with over two dozen countries on the effort. They too denied any ransom was paid.
Though Foley and Curtis were held together at some points, Foley was said to have been ISIS’ captive, and Curtis was held by Jabhat al-Nusra, a rival rebel faction.
Curtis, who writes under the pen-name of Theo Padnos, and was primarily known for the book Undercover Muslim, in which he lived in Yemen pretending to be a Muslim convert and studied at a religious school. The book was only published in Britain.