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Texas synagogue captor killed, all 4 hostages launched after standoff – Nationwide

Texas synagogue captor killed, all 4 hostages launched after standoff – Nationwide

4 hostages have been spared and their captor was killed, ending a 10-hour standoff at a Texas synagogue the place the hostage-taker – a British nationwide – may very well be heard ranting on a livestream and demanding the discharge of a Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted of attempting to kill U.S. Military officers in Afghanistan.

One hostage was launched through the Saturday standoff at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville and the three others received out at round 9 p.m. when an FBI SWAT crew entered the constructing, authorities stated. The hostage-taker was killed, and FBI Particular Agent in Cost Matt DeSarno stated a crew would examine “the capturing incident.” However FBI and police spokeswomen declined to reply questions on who shot the person.

Learn extra:

All hostages launched from Texas synagogue and secure, police say

Video from Dallas TV station WFAA confirmed folks operating out a door of the synagogue, after which a person holding a gun opening the identical door simply seconds later earlier than he circled and closed it. Moments later, a number of rounds of gunfire may very well be heard, adopted by the sound of an explosion.

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DeSarno stated the hostage-taker was particularly targeted on a problem indirectly linked to the Jewish group, and there was no fast indication that the person was a part of any broader plan. However DeSarno stated the company’s investigation “could have international attain.”

It wasn’t clear why the attacker selected the synagogue.

Legislation enforcement officers who weren’t approved to debate the continued investigation and who spoke to The Related Press on the situation of anonymity earlier stated the hostage-taker demanded the discharge of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist suspected of getting ties to al-Qaida who’s in a federal jail in Texas. He additionally stated he wished to have the ability to converse together with her, in accordance with the officers, one in all whom confirmed that the hostage-taker was a British nationwide.

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DeSarno stated Saturday night time that the person had been recognized “however we aren’t ready to launch his identification or affirm his identification at the moment.”

Learn extra:

Why is Aafia Siddiqui a terrorist bargaining chip?

A rabbi in New York Metropolis obtained a name from the rabbi believed to be held hostage within the synagogue to demand Siddiqui’s launch, a regulation enforcement official stated. The New York rabbi then referred to as 911.

Police have been first referred to as to the synagogue round 11 a.m. and other people have been evacuated from the encompassing neighborhood quickly after that, FBI Dallas spokeswoman Katie Chaumont stated.

Saturday’s providers have been being livestreamed on the synagogue’s Fb web page for a time. The Fort Value Star-Telegram reported that an indignant man may very well be heard ranting and speaking about faith at instances through the livestream, which didn’t present what was taking place contained in the synagogue.

Shortly earlier than 2 p.m., the person stated, “You bought to do one thing. I don’t wish to see this man useless.” Moments later, the feed lower out. A spokesperson for Meta Platforms Inc., the company successor to Fb Inc., later confirmed that Fb had eliminated the video.

Click to play video: 'Anti-Semitic incidents on the rise, 3 years since synagogue massacre in U.S.'

Anti-Semitic incidents on the rise, 3 years since synagogue bloodbath in U.S.

Anti-Semitic incidents on the rise, 3 years since synagogue bloodbath in U.S – Oct 27, 2021

A number of folks heard the hostage-taker discuss with Siddiqui as his “sister” on the livestream. However John Floyd, board chair for the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, _ the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group _ stated Siddiqui’s brother, Mohammad Siddiqui, was not concerned.

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“This assailant has nothing to do with Dr. Aafia, her household, or the worldwide marketing campaign to get justice for Dr. Aafia. We would like the assailant to know that his actions are depraved and immediately undermine these of us who’re searching for justice for Dr. Aafia,” stated Floyd, who is also authorized counsel for Mohammad Siddiqui. “We’ve confirmed that the member of the family being wrongly accused of this heinous act just isn’t close to the DFW Metro space.”

Texas resident Victoria Francis advised the AP that she watched about an hour of the livestream earlier than it lower out. She stated she heard the person rant in opposition to America and declare he had a bomb.

“He was simply everywhere in the map. He was fairly irritated and the extra irritated he received, he’d make extra threats, like `I’m the man with the bomb. In case you make a mistake, that is all on you.’ And he’d chuckle at that,” she stated. “He was clearly in excessive misery.”

Francis, who grew up close to Colleyville, tuned in after she learn concerning the hostage state of affairs. She stated it seemed like the person was speaking to the police division on the cellphone, with the rabbi and one other individual attempting to assist with the negotiations.

Colleyville, a group of about 26,000 folks, is about 15 miles (23 kilometers) northeast of Fort Value. The synagogue is nestled amongst massive homes in a leafy residential neighborhood that features a number of church buildings, a center and elementary college and a horse farm.

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Congregation Beth Israel is led by Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who has been there since 2006 because the synagogue’s first full-time rabbi. He has labored to carry a way of spirituality, compassion and studying to the group, in accordance with his biography on the temple’s web site, and he loves welcoming everybody, together with LGBT folks, into the congregation.

Legislation enforcement course of the scene in entrance of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Colleyville, Texas.

AP Photograph/Brandon Wade

In a Sunday morning put up on what seems to be Cytron-Walker’s Fb web page, the rabbi thanked regulation enforcement and first-responders, and safety coaching “that helped save us.”

“I’m grateful for my household. I’m grateful for the CBI Group, the Jewish Group, the Human Group. I’m grateful we made it out. I’m grateful to be alive,” he wrote.

Anna Salton Eisen, a founder and former president of the synagogue, stated the congregation has about 140 members and that Cytron-Walker has labored onerous to construct interfaith relationships locally, together with doing pulpit swaps and collaborating in a group peace stroll. She described Saturday’s occasions as “surreal.”

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Learn extra:

Suspect wished after Toronto synagogue spray painted with anti-Semitic graffiti: police

“That is not like something we’ve ever skilled. You realize, it’s a small city and it’s a small congregation,” Eisen stated because the hostage state of affairs was ongoing. “Irrespective of the way it seems, it’s onerous to fathom how we’ll all be modified by this, as a result of absolutely we shall be.”

President Joe Biden issued a press release thanking regulation enforcement after the hostage state of affairs ended.

“There may be extra we’ll study within the days forward concerning the motivations of the hostage taker. However let me be clear to anybody who intends to unfold hate_we will stand in opposition to anti-Semitism and in opposition to the rise of extremism on this nation,” Biden stated.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated on Twitter that he had been monitoring the state of affairs intently. “This occasion is a stark reminder that antisemitism continues to be alive and we should proceed to combat it worldwide,” he wrote. He stated he was “relieved and grateful” that the hostages have been rescued.

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The standoff prompted elevated safety in different places, together with New York Metropolis, the place police stated that they elevated their presence “at key Jewish establishments” out of an abundance of warning.

Aafia Siddiqui earned superior levels from Brandeis College and the Massachusetts Institute of Expertise earlier than she was sentenced in 2010 to 86 years in jail on prices that she assaulted and shot at U.S. Military officers after being detained in Afghanistan two years earlier. The punishment sparked outrage in Pakistan amongst political leaders and her supporters, who seen her as victimized by the American prison justice system.

Within the years since, Pakistani officers have expressed curiosity publicly in any type of deal or swap that would lead to her launch from U.S. custody, and her case has continued to attract consideration from supporters. In 2018, as an illustration, an Ohio man who prosecutors say deliberate to fly to Texas and assault the jail the place Siddiqui is being held in an try to free her was sentenced to 22 years in jail.

Tucker and Balsamo reported from Washington, D.C.; Related Press writers Jennifer McDermott in Windfall, Rhode Island; Michael R. Sisak in New York; Holly Meyer in Nashville, Tenn.; Acacia Coronado in Austin, Texas; and Issac Scharf in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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