Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott announced that the hostages taken during Sabbath services in a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, have been rescued safely.
The Governor tweeted, "Prayers answered. All hostages are out alive and safe."
Local media is currently reporting that the suspected Islamist jihadist who took hostages at a Jewish synagogue in Colleyville, a Fort Worth suburb, has been shot and killed. At approximately 9:15 PM local time a loud bang was heard, followed by gunshots.
CBS 11 reported that an FBI hostage rescue team which included 60-70 agents, who flew into DFW from Washington DC earlier in the day, executed the explosion and entry.
The FBI special agent in charge said the resolution was "...the result of a long day of hard work by nearly 200 law enforcement officers."
Colleyville police arrived at the synagogue Saturday morning at approximately 10:45 AM for a SWAT operation and established a perimeter around Congregation Beth Israel synagogue. Locals were evacuated from the area. The FBI was also on scene assisting police as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety, North Tarrant Regional SWAT Team.
Four hostages, including the synagogue’s Rabbi, were inside the building at the time conducting services via livestream. The suspect was heard speaking on the livestream.
A man believed to be the synagogue's cantor was released just after 5 PM local time and did not require medical attention. Following the release, negotiations continued for the other hostages.
The synagogue’s morning services livestream on Facebook captured the situation unfolding as it happened. There was audio what was believed to be the male suspect speaking.
The terrorist demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui from a federal prison in Texas. Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist suspected of having ties to al-Qaeda, was sentenced in 2010 to 86 years in prison for trying to kill US military officers while in custody in Afghanistan.
Siddiqui has also been called "Lady al Qaeda."
In a statement, The Council on American- Isalmic Relations (CAIR) National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said:
"We strongly condemn the hostage-taking at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. This latest antisemitic attack at a house of worship is an unacceptable act of evil. We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community, and we pray that law enforcement authorities are able to swiftly and safely free the hostages. No cause can justify or excuse this crime. We are in contact with local community leaders to learn more and provide any assistance that we can."
However, in the months leading up to the hostage crisis, CAIR had advocated for the release of Siddiqui and even featured known antisemite Linda Sarsour in events advocating for her release.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and the Biden administration were slammed for refusing to properly describe the hostage situation in Texas.
In a post on Twitter, Psaki wrote, "POTUS has been briefed about the developing hostage situation in the Dallas area."
"He will continue to receive updates from his senior team as the situation develops," the Biden admin staffer added. "Senior members of the national security team are also in touch with federal law enforcement leadership."
Psaki’s curious failure to describe the hostage situation for what it is – that a suspected jihadist took a Jewish synagogue hostage – was noted by many on social media.
During a presser following the rescue, an FBI spokesman said that the Islamist terrorist hostage taker at the Texas synagogue was "...singularly focused on one issue" that was not "...specifically related to the Jewish community."
He added "We are continuing to work to find motive."
This is a developing story.
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