A hostage situation was reported at Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue. Colleyville Police announced on Twitter this afternoon that they were conducting SWAT operations “around the 6100 block of Pleasant Run Rd” prompting the evacuation of residents in that immediate area.
BREAKING: Colleyville Police report that one male hostage has been released uninjured.
A hostage situation in a synagogue near Fort Worth, Texas has been at the center of those SWAT operations. Police reported that at least four people, a rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker, and three congregants, were taken hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas on Saturday afternoon ABC News reported.
A massive law enforcement presence remains on the scene and an FBI negotiator is talking with the suspect.
The suspect claims to be the brother of convicted terrorist “Lady Al-Qaeda”, Aafia Siddiqui . She is currently serving an 86-year sentence in federal prison since 2010 for conspiring to kill U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan.
As of 4:55 pm the hostage situation was still ongoing.
Harold Gernsbacher, chair of the Secure Community Network, an organization dedicated to the safety and security of the American Jewish community, told NBC 5 they believe the man entered the synagogue and took hostages in an attempt to free an imprisoned woman.
NBCDFW reports “To our understanding, there is a single man … he is very concerned about a female that was incarcerated for 85 years on a significant list of terroristic charges. His objective, what he has said, is to work to free that person,” Gernsbacher said.
The congregation had a Facebook live stream on its Facebook page for a service that had started three hours prior. The live stream has since been disabled.
Before the live stream was disabled, a man could be heard repeatedly saying “I will die.”
“I’m going to die at the end of this, alright?. Are you listening? I am going to die. Okay? So don’t cry for me.”
Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted out in support of Congregation Beth Israel.
We can only hope that this hostage situation ends soon with the rabbi and congregants being rescued successfully. Our prayers are with the Congregation Beth Israel and all law enforcement working to save all innocent lives inside the synagogue.
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