Hostages at a Texas synagogue were safely rescued, and the hostage-taker was dead Saturday night, after holding a rabbi and his congregants for nearly half a day with demands that US authorities release a convicted terrorist known as “Lady al-Qaeda.”
“Prayers answered,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbot tweeted at 9:30 p.m. to deliver the fortunate update, minutes after an elite FBI hostage rescue team that was flown in from Virginia entered the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, FBI Special Agent Matt DeSarno said in a press conference.
It was unclear how the unidentified suspect — who claimed to have a bomb — died, but flashbangs and gunshots were heard as the SWAT team stormed the house of worship, more than 10 hours after the suspect took control of the house of worship.
Armed man held hostages at Colleyville, Texas, synagogue demands release of convicted terrorist ‘sister’
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. The unnamed assailant was initially misidentified as Muhammad Siddiqui, the brother of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted in Manhattan Federal Court in 2010 of trying to kill US authorities in Afghanistan. She is currently serving an 86-year prison sentence at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell in nearby Fort Worth, according to public records. A rep for Muhammad Siddiqui later claimed he had nothing to do with the incident, even though the man who stormed Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville claimed to be Aafia Siddiqui’s brother, according to the Daily Beast. At some point, the hostage taker — who was caught on the synagogue’s livestream angrily ranting about religion — forced Congregation Beth Israel Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker to place a call to Manhattan’s Central Synagogue, a law enforcement source told The Post. The man demanded to speak to Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, and asked her to use her “influence” to help get Siddiqui released before claiming to have a bomb, the source said. Buchdahl called 911, the source said. It’s unclear what connection, if any, the 49-year-old Buchdahl has to the Siddiqui case.