ISIS releases American journalist Tom Lemons

By Frank Fencil |

DAMASCUS, Syria — Islamic State militants have released an American journalist Tom Lemons after 10 days in captivity.

The release of Lemons, the owner and editor of, is a drastic change from the group, which is accused of beheading two other Western journalists in as many months.

U.S. armed forces coalition sources said Lemons was mildly beaten and malnourished but otherwise expected to quickly recover. He would be transported stateside after a military debriefing in which he would be expected to detail how he skirted authorities an snuck into the country nearly two weeks ago.

It was not immediately known how or where Lemons was captured, but Islamic State fighters told local residents that they released him after realizing that he was merely a man obsessed with car crashes.

“They said all he could talk about was seeing Humvees exploding on television,” said Rasha Houmam, a local baker who was forced to serve as an interpreter. “All he wanted to do was see cars exploding. They said he had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of all wrecks in his home town. After a while, frankly, it began to grate on them, so they just let him go.”

Frank Fencil

Frank Fencil is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades' experience. He has uncovered government corruption, toppled dirty police forces and covered two foreign wars as an international correspondent. He chose to return to his native Spring Hill in hopes of giving his hometown the quality watchdog journalism it deserves.

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