Texas Synagogue Hostages Rescued; Hostage-Taker Dead

US
SWAT team members deploy near the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, January 15, 2022. (Andy Jacobsohn/AFP via Getty Images)

All of the hostages in a Texas synagogue were rescued on Saturday night, ending the daylong standoff between an Islamic extremist and authorities.

Four people were being held inside the synagogue by the man, whose identity has not yet been confirmed. In a Facebook livestream broadcast from inside Congregation Beth-Israel in Colleyville, Texas, the man ranted about a number of topics, including his family and Islam.

“If anyone tries to enter this building, I’m telling you . . . everyone will die,” he said during the livestream. He also called for the release of  Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist found guilty of attempting to murder U.S. soldiers while Siddiqui was in their custody in Afghanistan in 2010.

Texas governor Greg Abbott announced the fate of the hostages on Twitter late Saturday night.

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One of the four hostages had been released earlier in the afternoon. Reports of a loud explosion and gunfire preceded the announcement of the others’ rescue.

New York Post and Fox News columnist Karol Markowicz reported that the hostage-taker is dead, and congresswoman Beth Van Duyne confirmed that news to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The Colleyville police department has declared that “the SWAT situation in Colleyville is resolved and all hostages are safe. We continue to work in partnership with the FBI to finalize all details. We will be addressing the media staging area at Good Shepherd Catholic Church at 10:15pm with an update.”

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