A hostage ordeal at a Texas synagogue ended Saturday with three hostages finally being rescued “out alive and safe,” according to Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
The crisis occurred at Congregation Beth Israel near Fort Worth in Colleyville, where loud bangs and gunfire were heard as law enforcement officers rescued the hostages. Colleyville police chief Michael Miller told reporters that the hostage-taker was deceased at a press conference before midnight on Saturday. Over 200 law enforcement officers worked the scene, including a team of hostage-situation negotiators.
Joe Biden’s FBI said that the suspect was “focused on a single issue” unrelated to the Jewish community. The hostages taken included the synagogue’s rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker.
The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office later confirmed that the suspect killed was a British citizen at the scene. Fox News reported that it was unclear how the suspect entered the US or whether he had a criminal background.
The suspect was reportedly demanding the release of a Pakistani woman who was imprisoned near the scene of the hostage crisis on charges of attempting to kill US service members in Afghanistan.
That prisoner is Aafia Siddiqui, serving an 86-year sentence following her 2010 conviction in New York City. She is a neuroscientist who studied at elite American schools Brandeis University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Siddiqui is sometimes described as “Lady Al-Qaeda.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared on the Saturday broadcast of “Justice with Judge Jeanine” on Fox News to discuss the implications of the hostage crisis that had concluded hours before.
Graham described the current situation as a “religious war.” He said that the chaotic withdrawal of US military forces from Afghanistan created a “perfect storm brewing” that has led to rising terrorism following the Taliban’s reassertion of command of that country. Graham added that as Al-Qaeda and ISIS are roaming freely, it will just be a matter of time before terrorists come through the open southern border to “kill a bunch of Americans.”