Police shoot hostage-takers at Texas synagogue

Status: 01/16/2022 09:25 a.m

A man held hostages at a synagogue in Texas for 10 hours. The police were able to free all the hostages, and the hostage-taker was shot. Apparently he wanted to free an imprisoned Islamist.

By Sebastian Hesse, ARD Studio Washington

In the end, things happened very quickly: security forces stormed the synagogue, shot the kidnapper and freed the three remaining hostages, who were unharmed. At nine o’clock in the evening, the special task force entered the synagogue and freed the hostages, said Colleyville Police Chief Michael Miller after the operation.

Sebastian Hesse
ARD-Studio Washington

Dallas FBI chief Matthew DeSarno said the hostages did not require medical treatment. They could soon be reunited with their families. The FBI declined to comment on the identity of the kidnapper. “We know who the hostage-taker is, but we can’t say more yet,” said DeSarno.

However, the attack was not aimed directly at the Jewish community of Colleyville, but rather the release of a prisoner was to be blackmailed. This is Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani citizen who is serving an 86-year sentence in a Texas prison for terrorist activities.

Hostage-taking in a synagogue in Texas: All detainees are free again

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Studied at an elite university in the USA

The scientist was convicted in 2010, among other things, of attempted murder and armed attack on US nationals in Afghanistan. Andrew McCabe was involved in the process as deputy FBI director at the time. He investigated the case after she tried to shoot two FBI agents and two army personnel in Afghanistan, he says.

Siddiqui studied in the USA at the renowned Massachussetts Institute of Technology. She then earned her PhD from Brandeis University. In 2008 she was arrested in Afghanistan by the Afghan police after a list of possible attack victims had been seized from her.

DeSarno during the press conference after the end of the hostage crisis.

Image: AFP

“A kind of celebrity” in Islamist circles

When she was about to be questioned by US military personnel about the list, she took the gun from a US soldier and opened fire on those present. Nobody was injured. Since the attack, Siddiqui has become “a kind of celebrity” in Islamist circles, says the former FBI investigator.

US tabloid media gave her the nickname “Lady Qaeda” in reference to the al-Qaeda terrorist network. She is known to be an anti-Semite, McCabe said, and made repeated statements during the trial.

Siddiqui is currently being held in a prison in Fort Worth, not far from the Colleyville synagogue. Her lawyer emphasized in the evening that his client was in no way involved in the hostage-taking and attempted release.

Texas synagogue hostage crisis ended

Sebastian Hesse, ARD Washington, January 16, 2022 6:25 a.m


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