What We Learned of The Hostage Situation in a Texas Synagogue

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U.S.|‘Grateful to Be Alive’: What We Know About the Synagogue Hostage Rescue

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/16/us/hostage-texas-synagogue.html

The authorities person identified the suspect, a British citizen, who was killed erstwhile the hostages astatine a synagogue successful the Dallas-Fort Worth country were freed connected Saturday night.

An aerial presumption    of instrumentality    enforcement officers successful  beforehand   of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue connected  Sunday successful  Colleyville, Texas.
Credit...Brandon Wade/Associated Press

Melina Delkic

Jan. 16, 2022Updated 12:51 p.m. ET

The F.B.I.’s hostage rescue squad freed 4 hostages from a Texas synagogue connected Saturday nighttime aft a harrowing time of threats, negotiations and prayers.

The fishy is dead, officials said, and his motives are inactive nether investigation.

Here’s what we cognize truthful far.

Malik Faisal Akram, 44, was identified by the F.B.I. connected Sunday arsenic the antheral who took 4 people, including a rabbi, hostage connected Saturday greeting astatine a work astatine Congregation Beth Israel. The Reform synagogue successful Colleyville, a metropolis of astir 26,000 residents that is astir 15 miles northeast of Fort Worth, Texas.

The work had been livestreamed, and connected the stream, Mr. Akram could beryllium heard shouting astir dying and demanding to get a pistillate helium said was his sister connected the phone. The contiguous country was evacuated, and residents were instructed to stay location and debar approaching the synagogue.

Over the people of the day, astir 200 local, authorities and national instrumentality enforcement officers converged connected the synagogue, including a squad of F.B.I. agents and hostage negotiators who flew from Quantico, Va., the authorities said. One antheral hostage was released astatine astir 5 p.m., the constabulary said. He was unharmed.

Image

Credit...Elias Valverde/The Dallas Morning News, via Associated Press

By astir 9:30 p.m. section time, the hostage rescue squad freed the remaining hostages from the synagogue safely. They were unharmed and did not request aesculapian attention, the authorities said.

Officials said negotiators had been speaking with Mr. Akram passim the day.

“It’s precise apt this concern would person ended precise severely aboriginal connected successful the time had we not had professional, accordant dialog with the subject,” said Matthew DeSarno, the peculiar cause successful complaint for the F.B.I. tract bureau successful Dallas, astatine a quality league connected Saturday night.

The fishy is dead, the constabulary said. The F.B.I. Dallas tract bureau connected Sunday confirmed the individuality of the hostage taker arsenic Mr. Akram, who was a British citizen.

“At this time, determination is nary denotation that different individuals are involved,” the F.B.I. said successful a statement. The agency’s North Texas coercion task unit is pursuing leads, the F.B.I. said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said Mr. Akram had demanded to spot his “sister,” who whitethorn not really beryllium related to him and who is presently successful U.S. national custody for “terroristic events” successful Afghanistan.

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Credit...Andy Jacobsohn/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“The antheral claims helium and his sister volition beryllium going to Jannah (Muslim content of heaven) aft helium sees her,” the section said successful a connection connected Saturday earlier the rescue.

Authorities said the country successful and astir the synagogue was inactive an progressive transgression scene.

Though the concern had been resolved, the police chief, Michael C. Miller, said that an F.B.I. grounds squad and weaponry technicians would beryllium sweeping the area.

“I bash not person immoderate accusation close present that indicates that this is portion of immoderate benignant of ongoing threat,” Mr. DeSarno said, adding: “We’ll proceed to analyse the hostage taker. We’ll proceed to analyse his contacts. Our probe volition person planetary reach.”

He said that his unit had contacted the authorities successful different countries.

The 4 hostages were each adults, according to the constabulary chief, though helium did not specify their ages.

At a quality league connected Saturday night, the authorities said the hostages were being interviewed by the F.B.I. One of them was the synagogue’s rabbi.

The pb rabbi of the synagogue, Charlie Cytron-Walker, was described arsenic a unifying beingness who had worked to amended interfaith relations.

“I americium thankful and filled with appreciation for each of the vigils and prayers and emotion and support, each of the instrumentality enforcement and archetypal responders who cared for us, each of the information grooming that helped prevention us,” helium said successful a Facebook post connected Sunday morning.

He added: “I americium grateful that we made it out. I americium grateful to beryllium alive.”

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