The father of the American journalist freed by Islamic militants has praise for his son and others who venture into dangerous lands like Syria to "bear witness ... tell the truth about what's going on."

Michael Padnos, who lives outside Paris, said in an interview on Monday with The Associated Press that Theo Padnos spoke to his mother in Boston Sunday night "for less than a minute." Theo Padnos said he was "happy to be back in the civilized world and see some girls," according to the father's account.

"Your heart's in your mouth, but it's noble and worthy," to do as his son did, he said.

It wasn't clear when Padnos would return home to Boston from Tel Aviv where he was taken after being freed.