Five days after being kidnapped, Richard Engel and his team were freed from their Syrian captors, NBC News announced Tuesday morning.
The NBC News chief foreign correspondent, who was abducted along with cameraman John Kooistra and producer Ghazi Balkiz, were physically unharmed.
"We weren't physically beaten or tortured—it was a lot of psychological torture," Engel said on the Today show. "[There were] threats of being killed. They made us choose which one of us would be shot first, and when we refused there were mock shootings."
Engel, 39, and his team disappeared Thursday after crossing into northwest Syria from Turkey. To protect their safety, NBC News requested a news blackout of coverage of Engel and his team's situation.
Balkiz said he, Engel and Kooistra had "worked with each other very well" and "kept each other's spirits up" during the traumatic ordeal. Kooistra added he had "made good with my maker" and had been "prepared to die many times."
No doubt their loved ones, as well as the entire NBC News family, are deeply relieved with the trio's safe return.
(E! and NBC News are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)