American tourist released from Syria

An American tourist who was being held in Syria has been released in a deal brokered by Lebanon, CBS News has confirmed. The family of Sam Goodwin, 30, told The New York Times that he had been released with the aid of Abbas Ibrahim, the head of Lebanese internal security.

“We are grateful to be reunited with our son Sam,” Goodwin’s parents, Thomas and Ann Goodwin, said in a statement to The Times. “Sam is healthy and with his family.”  

It’s unclear what Goodwin was doing in Syria. 

There are several Americans believed to be held captive in Syria, where civil war has raged since 2011 and the terrorist group ISIS developed a stronghold. One of the most high-profile is freelance journalist Austin Tice, who disappeared in August 2012. Tice, a former Marine Corps captain who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was shown on a video five weeks after his disappearance surrounded by unidentified armed militants.

In 2018, the FBI offered a $1 million reward for information “leading directly to the safe location, recovery, and return” of Tice. At the time, CBS News reported that although some believe he was captured by Syrian regime forces or pro-government militias, the circumstances surrounding Tice’s disappearance remained a mystery. 

Tice’s parents told NBC News in May they have “no doubt” he is alive.

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