What We Know About the Texas Synagogue Hostage Situation

What We Know About The Hostage Situation In A…

After a tense day of threats, discussions, and prayers, the FBI’s hostage rescue team rescued four captives from a Texas synagogue on Saturday night.

Officials say the suspect is deceased, but his reasons are still being investigated.

So far, here’s what we know.

The F.B.I. named Malik Faisal Akram, 44, as the man who kidnapped four individuals, including a rabbi, at a Congregation Beth Israel ceremony on Saturday morning. The Reform synagogue is located in Colleyville, Texas, which has a population of roughly 26,000 people and is about 15 miles northeast of Fort Worth.

Mr. Akram could be heard shouting about dying and requesting that a lady he claimed was his sister call him on the phone throughout the funeral, which was live-streamed. Residents were told to stay at home and avoid visiting the synagogue after the nearby area was evacuated.

About 200 local, state and federal law enforcement personnel converged on the synagogue throughout the day, including a team of F.B.I. agents and hostage negotiators who flew in from Quantico, Va., according to the authorities. According to officials, one man captive was released at 5 p.m. He was not hurt.

The hostage rescue team had safely liberated the remaining captives from the synagogue about 9:30 p.m. local time. According to the officials, they were unharmed and did not require medical attention.

Negotiators had been in contact with Mr. Akram all day, according to officials.

«It’s quite possible that if we hadn’t had professional, persistent negotiation with the subject early in the day, this situation would have ended very terribly,» Matthew DeSarno, the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s field office in Dallas, said during a news conference on Saturday night.

According to the police, the suspect has died. Mr. Akram, a British citizen, was identified as the hostage-taker by the F.B.I.’s Dallas field office on Sunday.

The F.B.I. said in a statement that «at this time, there is no indication that other individuals are engaged.» The FBI’s North Texas terrorism task group is following up on leads, according to the agency.

Mr. Akram had wanted to meet his «sister,» who may or may not be connected to him and is currently in a federal jail in the United States for «terroristic actions» in Afghanistan, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

«The man claims that once he sees her, he and his sister would be going to Jannah (Muslim belief in heaven),» the department stated in a statement before the rescue on Saturday.

The area in and around the synagogue, according to authorities, is still a crime scene.

Despite the fact that the crisis was addressed, Colleyville Police Chief Michael C. Miller stated that an FBI evidence team and bomb technicians will be combing the area.

«At this time, I don’t have any evidence that suggests this is part of any ongoing threat,» Mr. DeSarno said, adding, «We’ll continue to examine the hostage-taker.» We’ll keep looking into his contacts. Our study will be international in scope.»

His employees have contacted authorities in other nations, he said.

According to the police chief, the four hostages were all adults, though he did not disclose their ages.

The F.B.I. was interviewing the captives, police said at a press briefing on Saturday night. One of them was the rabbi of the synagogue.

Charlie Cytron-Walker, the synagogue’s chief rabbi, was described as a unifying figure who worked to strengthen interfaith relations.

«All of the vigils and prayers and love and support, all of the law enforcement and first responders who cared for us, all of the security training that helped save us,» he stated in a Facebook post on Sunday am.

«I am thankful that we made it out,» he continued. «I’m glad I’m still alive.»

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