The grief and elation of two New England families have been the center of international attention over the past week. A Cambridge family is celebrating tonight after the safe return of Peter Theo Curtis, a writer held by an affiliate of Al Qaeda in Syria for more than two years. Hours after landing at Logan airport, Curtis made his first public statements emerging from his mother’s home this morning to thank those who worked for his release.  

Curtis’ release came just days after another American hostage and journalist, James Foley, was beheaded by ISIS, a different militant group in Syria. Some have suggested this timing is not a coincidence. 


Jim Walsh is an international security expert and a research associate in the MIT Security Studies Program.