May 16, 2022 1:07 pm

A man takes hostages in a Texas synagogue and demands the release of a terrorist

Correspondent in New York



A man has taken four people hostage at a synagogue near Fort Worth, en Texas, and has demanded the release of a Pakistani terrorist to end the kidnapping. The incident began at ten o’clock on Saturday morning during a religious service for the ‘shabbat’, the weekly Jewish holiday, in the Beth Israel de Colleyville Synagogue, a town about 25 kilometers from Fort Worth, one of the main cities in Texas. In a Facebook feed of the service, which has since been taken down, the suspect could be heard speaking forcefully, sometimes loudly, to someone on his phone, making lurid statements: “Don’t cry for me, I’m going to kill myself.” To die”.

The synagogue was soon surrounded by police hit teams and FBI negotiators. According to police sources assured several US media, the suspect had kidnapped four people, including a rabbi, who could be the head of the synagogue, Charlie Cytron-Walker.

In his conversation with security forces and negotiators, as reported by ABC News, the suspect demanded an end to the kidnapping the release of Aafia Siddiqui, whom he called his “sister.” Siddiqui was convicted in 2010 of trying to kill US officials in Afghanistan while in detention. The woman, a Pakistani neuroscientist who studied at the prestigious American MIT, had been arrested on suspicion of being part of Al Qaeda. He is now serving an 86-year prison sentence near where the kidnapping took place, in the town of Carswell.

So far, the kidnapping has not produced fatalities or deaths. The suspect, however, has assured that is armed, who has bombs ready, and has threatened to kill all his hostages if anyone tried to enter the synagogue.

The White House spokeswoman, Jen Psakiassured that US President Joe Biden was closely following the evolution of events. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said it was a “tense hostage situation” and that local authorities were working with state and federal authorities to achieve “the best possible outcome.”

Violent incidents and synagogue attacks have intensified in recent years in US synagogues. The most serious was in Pittsburgh and 2018, when eleven people were killed in an attack on a Jewish temple. In fact, this same summer, the synagogue where the kidnapping takes place received training for cases like this from the organization Secure Community Network, which advises Jewish organizations in cases of violent attacks.

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