The FBI and Texas Department of Public Safety are assisting a hostage situation at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, according to Colleyville Police Sgt. Dara Nelson
An angry, apparently armed man took a rabbi and his congregants hostage at a Texas synagogue Saturday — demanding US authorities release an infamous convicted terrorist known as “Lady al-Qaeda” and even calling a New York rabbi in a bizarre bid for help, according to sources and reports.
Authorities northeast of Fort Worth were negotiating Saturday with a man who took a rabbi and three other people hostage at a Colleyville synagogue during services.
FBI crisis negotiators had been at the synagogue and in communication for several hours with the hostage-taker, according to a statement from Colleyville police about 5 p.m. Saturday. Police said they have no information suggesting anyone inside the synagogue had been injured.
Police said they responded to the Congregation Beth Israel, at 6100 Pleasant Run Road, after they received a call around 10:41 a.m. Saturday, but did not specify what information was shared in the call or who the caller was.
There are no injuries at this time, Nelson said, adding that police have evacuated the area.
“The FBI negotiators are the ones who have contact with the person in the building.” Nelson said. There is “no threat to the general public” at this time, Nelson added.
Two law enforcement officials told CNN that investigators believe the hostage taker may have been motivated by a desire to free Aafia Sidiqqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence at a facility in Texas. She was convicted in 2010 on seven charges, including attempted murder and armed assault on US officers in Afghanistan.
That assessment is based on both discussions with the suspect and audio heard on the synagogue’s livestream on Facebook, the officials said.
Live Updates | Beth Israel Synagogue Hostage Situation
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