Peter Theo Curtis, 45, (an American journalist who often writes under the name Theo Padnos,) has been released from al-Nusra militant captors in Syria. The al-Nusra Front is a militant Syrian rebel group with ties to al-Qaeda. Curtis was released to United Nations representatives in the Golan Heights, an area under the control of Israel. He was given a medical examination and will soon be returning home to the United States.
This story comes as a tremendous relief after last week’s murder of another American journalist, James Foley, 40, by the Islamic extremist group called simply the “Islamic State.” The Islamic State, or IS, is the newest term for a group that has also been known as ISIS and ISIL, and started as an off-shoot of al-Qaeda in 2013. As one public radio reporter said, “You know a group is extreme when even members of al-Qaeda say, ‘Oh those guys are bad.’” IS members practice a militant extremist form of Sunni Islam, and has a goal of instituting Shariah law worldwide and killing all those who do not convert to their brand of Islam. They began their actions in 2013 by capturing Raqqa in Eastern Syria, moving on to control Falluja in Western Iraq. In June they took over Mosul, and in July their numbers grew as they recruited over 6,000 Syrians to their cause.
Hundreds of Syrians have been killed in the last couple of days, and today, IS seized control of the Syrian government’s airbase in Raqqa province.
In the last month, IS has targeted any and all people who do not adhere to their very specific ideology. The group has driven these people out of their homes and their neighborhoods, forcing some groups to retreat to mountain tops where food and water was not available. The United States has been trying to help these people via air drops of food and water, but getting supplies to these desolate areas has been difficult. Innocent civilan men, women and children have been murdered. IS has proudly decapitated many of these victims and put their heads on sticks which have been prominently displayed in town squares.
IS aired a video online of the beheading of James Foley. Since this video aired, both government and law enforcement entities have been actively trying to identify the man who was wearing a hood and dressed all in black who killed the journalist. This man spoke with a British accent, and Fox news has speculated that this man is a former rapper from London, named Abdel Majed Abdel Barry. For more information on this story, see the following link-
The secret service in Britain has not given a comment on this theory but has said that they are using both voice recognition and photo recognition technology to help in identifying the British sounding terrorist. Over 500 Britons have been recruited to leave their homes and join militants in fighting Jihad. This turn of events is bizarre, but unfortunately not unique, as the United States has also lost citizens who have decided to go to various parts of the Middle East and fight for Muslim extremist causes. For more information, see the following link-
Curtis, like Foley, was kidnapped in 2012. Curtis was in Turkey en route to Syria, while Foley was already in Syria when he was abducted. Secretary of State John Kerry has issued a statement saying that he is relieved and grateful for Theo’s release, and has indicated that it took the work of more than twenty countries, as well as the support of The United Nations, to bring Curtis home.
If you found this article to be of interest, please click on "Subscribe" underneath the title of the article to receive free automatic email updates when this author writes again.