Published: Aug 27, 2014 8:30 AM EDT
Updated: Aug 27, 2014 11:09 AM EDT

BOSTON, Mass. - Journalist Peter Theo Curtis returned home to the United States on Tuesday, two days after being freed by a Syrian extremist group that held him hostage for 22 months, his family said.

Curtis family spokeswoman Betsy Sullivan said in a statement that Curtis arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport Tuesday afternoon after leaving Tel Aviv. By evening he had been reunited with his mother Nancy Curtis at Boston Logan International Airport.

"I have been so touched and moved, beyond all words, by the people who have come up to me today - strangers on the airplane, the flight attendants, and most of all my family - to say welcome home," Curtis said in the statement.

He also said he was "deeply indebted" to the U.S. officials who worked to get him released.

Curtis, 45, of Boston, was released by al-Nusra Front, a Sunni extremist group.