A hostage-taking in a synagogue in Colleyville, a city located 43 kilometers northwest of Dallas, in Texas, United States, ended with the dead kidnapper and all victims released.
“Around 9 pm, the HRT (hostage rescue team) stormed the synagogue, they rescued the three hostagesSuspect is deceased,” Colleyville Police Chief Michael Miller said. The kidnapper had previously released one of the hostages.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed through his Twitter account that “all hostages are alive and safe.” a rabbi he was among four people who had been held at Congregation Beth Israel.
Before the hostage-taking was over, it was heard a loud bang and a short burst of rapid fire from the direction of the synagogue. It is not yet clear how the attacker died.
According to US officials quoted by ABC and NBC News, the kidnapper claimed to be the “brother” of the Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year prison sentence for trying to kill US soldiers and FBI agents while in detention in Afghanistan.
At the beginning of the seizure, the kidnapper asked for the release of his sister, imprisoned at a US air base near Colleyville, according to official sources, who requested anonymity.
Experts consulted by AFP indicated, however, that the word that the man expressed in Arabic could be used figuratively and meant “sister” of the Islamic faith.
The hostage-taking occurred during a religious service at the synagogue of the Beth Israel congregation, which was being broadcast live on the institution’s website on Facebookreported the local Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper.
More than 8,000 people connected to the video of the live broadcast once the first information emerged on social networks about what happened, until finally the broadcast was suspended without the situation inside the synagogue having been resolved.
The video did not show what was happening inside the building, but an angry man could be heard he talked about religion, insisted that he didn’t want to hurt anyone and assured that he was going to die, according to the Star-Telegram.
Before the video stopped airing, what sounded like telephone negotiations between suspect and officers.
The US president, Joe Biden, received information about the situation in Colleyville and kept an eye on the development of events, according to his spokesperson, Jen Psaki, on his Twitter account.
The event had repercussions in Israel, where Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said his government is “closely monitoring” the situation. “We pray for the safety of hostages and rescuers”, he tweeted.
With information from agencies