Middle East

Hostage situation continues at the Texas Synagogue

At least three hostages, including Rabbi, are believed to remain within the Dallas synagogue, according to two law enforcement officials.

As a precautionary measure, the Dallas Mayor said the Dallas Police Department is deploying additional patrols in synagogues and elsewhere. (AP)

One of the hostages detained in a synagogue in the Dallas area was released, according to US police.

Special forces are negotiating with a man reportedly hostaged during a live-streamed Saturday service at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, according to media reports.

“Shortly after 5 pm (2300 GMT), the male hostages were released unharmed,” the Colleyville Police Department said in a statement.

“This man will reunite with his family as soon as possible and does not need to see a doctor,” the statement added.

The Colleyville Police Department tweeted Saturday afternoon that it was conducting a SWAT operation at the address of congregation Beth Israel, northeast of Fort Worth.

Motivation to take hostages

At least four hostages were believed to be in the synagogue, according to two law enforcement officers who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity without the authority to discuss ongoing investigations. The synagogue rabbi was believed to be in it, one of the officials said.

Authorities are still trying to understand the exact motivation for the attack. However, some U.S. officials say they are demanding the release of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddi, who was convicted of a hostage criminal attempting to kill a U.S. military officer in Afghanistan. ..

Law enforcement officials warned that the information is based on preliminary investigations, as investigators have not explicitly identified the man and the situation is still evolving rapidly.

FBI Dallas spokeswoman Katie Chaumont said the FBI SWAT team was also on the scene and the crisis negotiators were in contact with someone in the synagogue. However, she could not say if the person was armed and she refused to explain what the person had said to the authorities.

With a community of about 26,000, Colleyville is about 15 miles (23 km) northeast of Fort Worth.

Monitoring status

Rabbi Rik Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said on Twitter that the union is “extremely grateful to the law enforcement agencies working to free the hostages.”

“I am deeply grateful for the love and support for our congregation in Colleyville, Texas,” he said.

According to the White House, US President Joe Biden was briefed on the crisis at the Texas synagogue.

White House spokesman Jen Psaki said on Twitter that Biden was “informed about the situation of hostages in the Dallas area.”

“Senior members of the national security team are also in contact with leaders of federal law enforcement agencies.”

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he is closely monitoring the situation. “I pray for the safety of the hostages and rescuers,” he wrote on Twitter.

The Israeli Consulate General in Houston is heading to the scene of the incident, Foreign Minister Yale Rapid said in a statement, adding that Israeli authorities “are in close contact with US law enforcement agencies.”

Source: TRT World and distributors

https://www.trtworld.com/americas/hostage-situation-continues-at-texas-synagogue-53694?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Hostage situation continues at the Texas Synagogue

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