Taxas Synagogue standoff: Suspect killed in operation; all the hostages released safely

By our staff reporter

FORT WORTH, Texas : A rescue operation executed jointly by police and FBI killed hostage-taker and freed all the hostages safely in Texas.

A suspect was dead after he took a group of people hostage at a Texas synagogue and demanded the release of a Pakistani neuroscientist convicted of trying to kill US army officers in Afghanistan (Smiley N Pool/The Dallas Morning News/AP)

Local media reports quoted Colleyville Police Chief Michael Miller as saying that said about 200 law enforcement officers responded to the scene throughout the day. Colleyville is about 15 miles northeast of Fort Worth, in Tarrant County. The North Tarrant Regional SWAT Team initially responded as officers evacuated residents from nearby homes and set up a perimeter. Control of the scene was then handed off to the FBI, including SWAT and elite teams whose sole mission is to negotiate and conduct hostage rescues.

The man repeatedly mentioned his sister and Islam and used profanities. He was heard asking for his “sister” to be released from prison. The man said a few times he didn’t want anyone hurt, and he mentioned his children. He also said repeatedly he believed he was going to die.

The hostage-taker repeatedly mentioned his sister and Islam and used profanities. He was heard asking for his “sister” to be released from prison. The man said a few times he didn’t want anyone hurt, and he mentioned his children. He also said repeatedly he believed he was going to die. Top US authorities told local media he was referring Dr Afia Siddiqui, a women’s prison in Fort Worth as his sister and demanded that she be freed from prison.

Pakistani activists are pictured marching toward the US embassy during an anti-US protest in Islamabad on September 24, 2010Credit: AFP

According to ABC, the FBI did not confirm the hostage-taker’s identity. Anyone who supports Siddiqui’s cause might call himself her brother even if they’re not related. The Star-Telegram spoke with an attorney who previously represented a brother of Siddiqui. The attorney said she talked to that brother Saturday and he was not the hostage-taker.

Known as “Lady al-Qaida,” Siddiqui, 49, is a neuroscientist who was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University before returning to her native Pakistan. U.S. officials claim she was recruited by the Taliban and used her scientific expertise towards biological and chemical warfare. Her supporters claim weapons are not related to her field of study and that she is being scapegoated in the post-9/11 war on terror.

They claim Siddiqui was abducted and tortured in secret prisons in Afghanistan without due process. She was sentenced to 86 years in federal prison in 2010 for trying to shoot U.S. personnel with a rifle while she was in custody in Afghanistan in 2008.

Police said they were alerted to an emergency Saturday morning at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, some 40 kilometers west of Dallas. (AP)

Several attempts at freeing Siddiqui have been made over the years, including failed attempts at trading her for western hostages. One such attempt resulted in the execution of kidnapped journalist James Foley by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

In Pakistan, she is widely portrayed as a heroine and martyr. Her family and supporters say the mother of three was falsely accused and used as a scapegoat in the “war on terror” after 9/11, according to a profile in the Guardian. In 2018, the Senate of Pakistan unanimously passed a resolution to take up the matter of Siddiqui’s freedom with the U.S., referring to her as “the Daughter of the Nation.” The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the hostage-taking incident in a statement.

“This antisemitic attack against a house of worship is unacceptable,” CAIR’s Houston chapter said in the statement.

“We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community, and we pray that law enforcement authorities are able to swiftly free the hostages and bring them to safety.” “We want to make it very well known that the hostage-taker is NOT Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s brother, who is not even in the same region where this horrible incident is taking place,” the CAIR statement said.

“We want the hostage-taker to know that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and her family strongly condemn this act and do not stand by you. Dr. Aafia’s family has always stood firm in advocating for the release of their sister from incarceration by legal and non-violent means only.” At Saturday night’s press conference, the FBI would not confirm any connection between the hostage taker and Aafia Siddiqui. “

Dr. Afia Siddiqui : File Photo

All I can confirm is that what you heard on the livestream you did hear on the livestream,” DeSarno said. DeSarno said investigations into the hostage-taker, as well as an independent investigation into the shooting that occurred during the hostage rescue, are ongoing and that more details will become available over the course of those investigations. Authorities said they’re also investigating why and how the hostage-taker targeted the Colleyville synagogue. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization with more than 400.000 members, said in a statement.

“It’s no accident that a synagogue was chosen for this attack.” “By all available information this was a well-planned scenario designed to gain entrance into the synagogue by posing as a homeless man,” Simon Wiesenthal Center CEO and founder Rabbi Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of global social action, wrote in the statement. “The terrorist and those who planned this attack counted on the kindness of a rabbi to gain entry into the synagogue.”

Leave a Reply