Colleyville synagogue hostage crisis

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Colleyville synagogue hostage crisis
Part of Antisemitism
LocationCongregation Beth Israel, Colleyville, Texas, United States
Coordinates32°53′6″N 97°8′57″W / 32.88500°N 97.14917°W / 32.88500; -97.14917Coordinates: 32°53′6″N 97°8′57″W / 32.88500°N 97.14917°W / 32.88500; -97.14917
DateJanuary 15, 2022 (CST)
Attack type
Hostage taking
DeathsPerpetrator
Victims4
PerpetratorMalik Faisal Akram

On January 15, 2022, a gunman, Malik Faisal Akram, entered a reform synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, United States. He took four people prisoner, creating a hostage situation that lasted 10 hours. It ended when the FBI hostage team went into the synagogue. The man with the gun was killed. The synagogue is called Congregation Beth Israel.[1][2]

Attack[change | change source]

At 10:41 in the morning, a man with a gun went inside the building and took hostages.[3] He was dressed like a homeless person that needed shelter.[4] The Colleyville Police Department shared a tweet at 11:30am saying the SWAT team was working in the area.[1] The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Texas Department of Public Safety arrived a short time later. People who live around the synagogue were evacuated, or told to leave, for their safety.[3]

Some news agencies said the man was the brother of Aafia Siddiqui, who is from Pakistan, and he wanted her to be let out of prison. In 2010, Siddiqui was convicted of attempted murder of a United States Army captain while they were both in Afghanistan. Siddiqui has a brother. However, his lawyer says that the man in the synagogue was not him or anyone in their family.[1] Later, law enforcement officials said the man had told the rabbi to make a phone call for him. In the phone call, the man said he wanted his "sister" Siddiqui let out of prison.[2] It is possible the man did not really mean Siddiqui was his sister. Instead, he may have said "sister" as a figure of speech.

The man came into the building during the synagogue's Saturday Shabbat holy day services. The people in the synagogue had put up a video camera so they could livestream the ceremony on the Internet. This video of the synagogue's service was recording when the man took Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and three other people hostage. His face did not show up in the video, but people on the Internet could hear his voice.[1][5] The man who took the hostages said, "If anyone tries to enter this building, I'm telling you...everyone will die" and "I'm going to die. Don't cry about me..."[5]

One of the hostages was released six hours later.[6]

At about 9 p.m., the FBI went into the building. All of the hostages came out alive. The man who took them prisoner did not.[2]

Perpetrator[change | change source]

The hostage taker was British citizen Malik Faisal Akram (1977-2022), who was from Blackburn, Lancashire, England.

Reaction[change | change source]

US[change | change source]

The White House said the President had been told what was happening.[5] US House Representative Colin Allred who is from Texas said he was praying for the people of the synagogue.White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said people on the National Security team were talking to federal law enforcement leaders about the attack.[7] US Senator Ted Cruz also said that he had informed federal law enforcements, he also said he will be speaking to the Jewish community leaders throughout the evening and the situation.[7][8]

World leaders[change | change source]

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he was watching the standoff between law enforcement and the gunmen. The Prime Minister also said, “We pray for the safety of the hostages and rescuers,” on his official Twitter account.[9] Yair Lapid, the Alternate Prime Minister of Israel, said the government of Israel was in contact with law enforcement. Lapid also said Israeli Consulate General Livia Link was leaving Houston, Texas to go to the synagogue.

Synagogue[change | change source]

Congregation Beth Israel was started in 1998. It became a full synagogue in 1999. It moved to the building it is in now in 2005.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Williams, Michael (15 January 2022). "Colleyville police SWAT team involved in incident at synagogue". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Tom Winter; Jonathan Dienst; Claire Cardona; Dennis Romero (January 15, 2022). "Man holding people in Colleyville, Texas, synagogue dead, hostages released safely". NBC. Retrieved January 16, 2022.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Osborne, Ryan (15 January 2022). "Hostage situation at North Texas synagogue: SWAT, DPS and FBI respond to scene with gunman at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville". WFAA. Retrieved 15 January 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. @ariehkovler (January 15, 2022). "via @jodamarr who heard better some of the gunman's comments. The synagogue let him in because he posed as a homeless man in need of shelter" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Marsden, Ariella (15 January 2022). "Gunman holds hostages at synagogue in Texas". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 15 January 2022. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  6. Tauber, Shelby; Psaledakis, Daphne (15 January 2022). "Police respond to 'hostage situation' at Texas synagogue". Reuters. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Clark, Joseph (January 15, 2022). "Hostage situation underway at Texas synagogue". Washington Times. Retrieved January 15, 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. Ted, Cruz (January 15, 2022). "Ted Cruz on twitter" I am continuing to closely monitor the hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel. I just finished a briefing with federal law enforcement and will be speaking to Jewish community leaders throughout the evening. 1/x"". Twitter. Retrieved January 15, 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. Bennett, Naftali (January 15, 2022). "Naftali Benett בנט on Twitter I am closely monitoring the hostage situation taking place in Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. We pray for the safety of the hostages and rescuers". Twitter. Retrieved January 15, 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)