American journalist Peter Theo Curtis spoke out Wednesday, thanking those who helped free him from Syrian extremists.
CURTIS: "I had no idea when I was in prison that so much effort was being expended on my behalf and now having found out, I am just overwhelmed by emotion."
Curtis was held captive for nearly two years by Al-Qaeda affiliated group Al Nusra and was just released on Tuesday.
Upon his release, Curtis was handed over to United Nations officials who gave him a medical check-up before putting him on a plane headed for the U.S.
Curtis flew to his mother's home in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he held the brief press conference. He ended the conference by asking for privacy while he reunites with his family, but promised to hold interviews at a later date.
This release comes just days after a different extremist group, ISIS, executed American journalist James Foley in what is believed to have been a propaganda move.
The group released a graphic video showing the beheading of Foley. The U.S. government says it is currently pursuing the executor.
In an interview with ABC, Curtis's mother Nancy called the days following Foley's execution "excruciating," but said hearing of her son's safe release a few days later was "wonderful."
Another mother of a hostage has been speeking to the media this week as well. Shirley Sotloff, the mother of American journalist Steven Soloff who is being held hostage by ISIS released this appeal in hopes her son will not suffer the same fate as Foley.
"As a mother i ask your justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over."
A 26-year old woman and at least two other Americans are still being held hostage in Syria.
This video includes an image from Getty Images.