All the hostages held this Saturday at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Texas in the US “are out and safe”, according to the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, in a tweet in which he has not clarified details about the release of the hostages.
After about ten hours of negotiations that allowed the release of a hostage, “a rescue team broke into the synagogue” and freed the three people who were still captive, Michael Miller, police chief of the small town, explained at a press conference. city of Colleyville.
“The suspect is dead,” Miller added.
the news channel CNN pointed out for his part that “a loud bang was heard, followed by a short burst of gunfire from the direction of the synagogue”, according to information from their correspondents in the area of the event.
A first hostage had been released this Saturday at 5:00 p.m. local time (23:00 GMT) in good health after more than six hours held, while the FBI continued to negotiate with the criminal suspect, local police reported.
According to a police source consulted by the CNN, at the beginning of the kidnapping there were at least four hostages inside the Beth Israel Congregation synagogue in Colleyville, and one of them was a rabbi.
According to US officials quoted by the networks CNN, ABC y NBC, the suspect claims to be the brother of Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui, imprisoned at a US air base near Colleyville
The kidnapper was asking for the release of his sister, who is serving an 86-year prison sentence for trying to kill US soldiers and FBI agents while she was detained in Afghanistan.
The hostage-taking occurred during a religious service in the synagogue of the Beth Israel congregation, which was being broadcast live on the institution’s website on Facebook, reported the local newspaper “Fort Worth Star-Telegram”.
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 the broadcast was finally 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 talking about religion, insisting that he did not want to hurt anyone and that he was going to die, according to the “Star-Telegram”.
Before the video stopped airing, what appeared to be negotiations over the phone between the suspect and the officers were heard, points to the rotary.
US President Joe Biden has received a briefing on the situation in Colleyville and will remain vigilant as events unfold in the coming hours, his spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said on her Twitter account.
The Colleyville Police Department claimed on its Twitter account that it had an elite SWAT operations team deployed to the block where the synagogue is located, confirmed that it had evacuated the surrounding area, and asked not to approach the area.
The event caused police protection to be reinforced in several synagogues and Jewish institutions in large cities in the country, such as Dallas, New York or Los Angeles (California), to detect any possible anti-Semitic threat derived from what happened in Colleyville.
(With information from EFE)