Freed U.S. reporter’s dad praises son’s cause



JOINVILLE-LE-PONT, France — The overjoyed father of the American journalist freed by Islamic militants said Monday that his son and others who venture into dangerous lands like Syria deserve praise for wanting to “bear witness … tell the truth about what’s going on.”

Michael Padnos, who lives outside Paris, said Theo Padnos spoke to his mother in Boston on Sunday “for less than a minute” but said he was “happy to be back in the civilized world and see some girls,” according to the father’s account.

It wasn’t clear when Padnos would return to Boston. He was apparently in Tel Aviv, where he was driven after being released Sunday in the Golan Heights, a week after the beheading of another American journalist, James Foley.

Theo Padnos was held by Jabhat al-Nusra, according to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Michael Padnos brushed aside delays in his son’s return.

Theo Padnos changed his name to Peter Theo Curtis before leaving for Syria some two years ago for safety reasons, his father said, noting he had written a book “Undercover Muslim” after investigating the secretive Islamist world in Yemen, pretending to be a deeply religious Muslim.