Hostages From Texas Synagogue Are “Out Alive and Safe”


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    Hostages From Texas Synagogue Are “Out Alive and Safe”

    Authorities said all hostages who were being held hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel Temple in Colleyville, Texas, were released and are safe, after a police operation that killed the hostage taker • Full Story, Photos, Video

    Update 10:41pm: The hostage-taker at Colleyville Beth Israel synagogue is dead.

    Update 10:35pm: The suspect in the hostage taking in Colleyville is a 44 year old Muslim British citizen who recently traveled to the US.

    Update 10:33pm: All hostages held in the Congregation Beth Israel are out and safe, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a tweet. No other details on their release were included.

    Update 10:29pm: Loud bang heard, followed by a short blast of gunfire from direction of the synagogue

    Update 8:42pm: At least 3 people are still being held hostage at a Texas synagogue. Here’s the latest on the situation.

    Update 8:37pm: Texas governor on the release of one hostage: “Prayers are being answered”

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted about the release of one of the four people who were taken hostages at a Colleyville synagogue.

    “Prayers are being answered,” he tweeted, along with a statement from police on the release of one of the hostages. “3 more to go.”

    Update 7:59pm: A release by the family of the convicted terrorist denies claim that the muslim man who has taken four people hostage is her brother.

    Update at 6:15pm: One male hostage have been released from the Texas synagogue, and do not need medical assistance Colleyville Police Department Said.

    COLLEYVILLE, Texas — A hostage situation was ongoing at a synagogue outside of Dallas on Saturday afternoon involving a man who ranted about Islam and made demands to release a convicted terrorist—all while being captured on a Facebook livestream.

    Colleyville Police confirmed on Twitter that it was conducting SWAT operations at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue. The FBI is also on the scene and negotiating with the

    suspect. The man, whose name has not been released by authorities, is believed to be holding four people—including the synagogue’s rabbi—hostage, according to CNN.

    Police said no injuries had been reported among the hostages by Saturday evening.

    As the hostage situation dragged into its sixth hour just after 5 p.m. local time, several people could be seen praying in their vehicles at a nearby parking lot, as several armored SWAT vehicles parked at a staging area at a nearby middle school.

    Nearby residents were evacuated from the surrounding area as police surrounded the building, with little to no information available on what was happening inside.

    The synagogue’s Facebook livestream had briefly provided a glimpse into the tense situation inside as the situation unfolded earlier in the day. Nobody could be seen on the video but a man with a British accent could be heard making multiple demands to speak to his “sister” on the phone, and to have her released from prison. Just before 2 p.m. local time, about two hours after the siege began, the livestream cut out.

    Citing law enforcement sources, NBC News and ABC News reported that the sister is Aafia Siddiqui, 49, who was convicted in New York of trying to assassinate U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. She is serving an 86-year prison sentence at a federal facility in Fort Worth.

    However, a lawyer who previously represented Siddiqui’s biological brother told The Daily Beast that he is not the person inside the synagogue.

    Throughout the Facebook livestream, the man could be heard making multiple references to Islam in between vague, expletive-laden rants. He said he liked the synagogue’s rabbi and appreciated being let into the building. But he threatened that any police officer who tried to apprehend him would be shot. He claimed to have been carrying a bag around for 16 hours containing weapons.

    The man also made multiple references to his own mortality, saying he believed he was going to die and he had left “six beautiful kids.” He expressed anger at England and made multiple mentions of his “sister.” It’s unclear who he was speaking to throughout the livestream, and whether he is, in fact, related to Siddiqui.

    At one point, the suspect asked the synagogue’s occupants how many children they have, and the four people inside could be heard giving muffled responses.

    U.S. President Joe Biden has been brief on the hostage crisis, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, adding that “senior members of the national security team are also in touch with federal law enforcement leadership.”

    Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he is “closely monitorin

    g” the situation.

    “We pray for the safety of the hostages and rescuers,” he added.

    Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also said he is in contact with the country’s Consul General to the Southwest, Livia Link, who is heading to the scene, and that his ministry is following the developments.

    The U.S. ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, also said he is “closely monitoring” the reports and that he is “praying for an immediate and safe end” to the incident.


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    Hostages From Texas Synagogue Are “Out Alive and Safe”