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ASPartOfMe
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15 Jan 2022, 4:32 pm

Armed man takes hostages at Texas synagogue, sources say

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A hostage situation is underway at a synagogue in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Saturday, several sources told ABC News.

An armed suspect claiming to have bombs in unknown locations took a rabbi and three others hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel, a source familiar with the situation told ABC News. It is unclear to what extent the hostage-taker is armed.

A U.S. official briefed on the matter told ABC News the hostage-taker is claiming to be the brother of convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, but authorities have not yet confirmed his identity. The suspect is demanding to have the sister freed, the official said.

Siddiqui is incarcerated at Carswell Air Force Base near Fort Worth, according to the source. She had alleged ties to al-Qaida and was convicted of assault and attempted murder of a U.S. soldier in 2010 and sentenced to 86 years in prison.

There is believed to be one suspect at this time, the source said. The FBI has responded to the scene, along with local authorities and hostage negotiators.

A White House official confirmed to ABC News that the White House is "closely monitoring" the hostage situation. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has also been briefed on the situation, according to a DHS spokesperson.


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15 Jan 2022, 10:58 pm

I was surprised when I learned the motive. I thought this was going to be Pittsburgh all over again.


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16 Jan 2022, 1:07 am

Well, all over and done with.
I don't think demanding a prisoner's freedom in exchange for hostages has ever worked. At least not in modern America.


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ASPartOfMe
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16 Jan 2022, 7:47 am

Hostages safely rescued after nearly 11-hour ordeal at a Texas synagogue, officials say. The suspect is dead

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An elite FBI hostage rescue team breached a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, Saturday night, safely recovering three remaining captives after a nearly 11-hour hostage situation, federal and local officials said. The lone suspect is dead, authorities added.

The resolution came nearly 11 hours after a gunman entered Congregation Beth Israel as the synagogue livestreamed its Sabbath morning service on Facebook and Zoom at around 11 a.m. (noon ET) Saturday, Colleyville Police Chief Michael Miller said. The livestream appeared to capture part of the incident before it was removed.
Four people, including a rabbi, were initially taken hostage. One hostage, a man, was released unharmed around 5 p.m., Colleyville Police Sgt. Dara Nelson said.

The suspect has been identified, FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno told reporters in a news conference after the hostage rescue, but authorities are not revealing his identity as the investigation continues.
That probe includes international outreach, DeSarno said, including to FBI offices in Tel Aviv and London.

DeSarno also praised the work of the FBI and local negotiators, who he said "likely saved the lives of the subjects just through their engagement.

"It's very likely this situation would have ended very badly early on in the day had we not had professional, consistent negotiation with the subject," DeSarno added.

Two law enforcement officials told CNN earlier Saturday that investigators believe the hostage taker may have been motivated by a desire to release Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence at a facility in Texas. She was convicted in 2010 on seven charges, including attempted murder and armed assault on US officers in Afghanistan.

"We do believe from our engaging with this subject that he was singularly focused on one issue, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community, but we'll continue to work to find motive," DeSarno said.

Assets including local, state and federal SWAT teams were brought in to assist with the situation, as well as the FBI's hostage rescue team, which flew to Texas from Quantico, Virginia, Miller said in the news conference.

Congregation member Stacey Silverman described watching the livestream for more than an hour, listening to the suspect ranting, sometimes switching between saying "I'm not a criminal" to being apologetic about the situation. The suspect was vacillating between different languages and "screaming hysterically," she said.
"At any moment, I thought there was going to be a gunshot," Silverman said, adding that the suspect claimed to have a bomb.

Officials said it's believed the suspect wanted Siddiqui released, based on both discussions with the suspect and audio heard on the synagogue's livestream.
The attorney who represents Siddiqui said Saturday "she has absolutely no involvement with" the taking of hostages at the synagogue and said the perpetrator is not Siddiqui's brother.
"She does not want any violence perpetrated against any human being, especially in her name," Marwa Elbially told CNN by phone. "It obviously has nothing to do with Dr. Siddiqui or her family."

"Whoever the assailant is, we want him to know that his actions are condemned by Dr. Aafia and her family," Elbially said.

At the request of the hostage taker, the rabbi of the congregation who was being held hostage called a well known rabbi in New York City, according to two officials briefed on investigation.

The FBI interviewed the New York City-based rabbi who spoke to the hostage taker earlier Saturday. The hostage taker, who has no connection with the rabbi, told her that Siddiqi was framed and he wants her released, the officials said.

n 2010, Siddiqui was sentenced to 86 years in prison by a New York federal judge following a 14-day trial. A jury found her guilty of the attempted murder of US nationals and government employees, as well as assault against US officers and employees.

Siddiqui -- a Pakistani scientist who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and obtained a doctorate from Brandeis University -- was taken into custody for questioning by the Afghan National Police in 2008, who said they found handwritten notes referring to potential targets of a "mass casualty attack," according to a federal indictment.

When a group of Americans attempted to speak to her, prosecutors said she was able to grab a US soldier's rifle and open fire on the interrogation team, although no one was hit by the gunfire.

Siddiqui's defense argued she was incompetent to stand trial. But Siddiqui clashed repeatedly with her lawyers, telling the judge at sentencing, "If anybody thinks that it is my paranoia or whatever, I'm not paranoid. I'm not mentally sick. I do not agree with that." She also stated her belief that Israel "masterminded 9/11."

Her conviction has been the subject of regular protests in the US and overseas. Frequent demonstrations have been organized by the Aafia Foundation, a group named for her. That group has claimed that she was assaulted in prison last year.
Her family has said in interviews with CNN that she is not a terrorist.

During a deadly hostage crisis in Algeria in 2013, a spokesperson for a militant group offered to release hostages if Siddiqui was released from US prison, along with Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center attack, who has since died in prison.


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16 Jan 2022, 7:59 am

Tim_Tex wrote:
I was surprised when I learned the motive. I thought this was going to be Pittsburgh all over again.


Same here. Although the word "hostage" kinda made me curious.



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16 Jan 2022, 8:19 am

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Siddiqui -- a Pakistani scientist who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and obtained a doctorate from Brandeis University


I kinda feel bad for her. I wish they could shorten her sentence, particularly since

a) The initial thing was hand written notes rather than actual attack.

b) She was said to be mentally unstable

c) She is MIT graduate in science. Just not a typical profile of a true criminal.

I guess the fact that she opened gunfire (although without killing anyone) didn't help. But, again, as her defenders said, she was mentally unstable. The fact that she kept *rejecting* said defense also makes her case unusual to say the least.

And again, she is MIT graduate and a scientist. Not a typical profile of a criminal. I just feel bad that her promising career was stopped by all this.



kraftiekortie
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16 Jan 2022, 8:34 am

The Unabomber was also someone with that sort of scientific background.



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16 Jan 2022, 8:58 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
The Unabomber was also someone with that sort of scientific background.


Who is Unabomber? I never heard of that person.



ASPartOfMe
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16 Jan 2022, 9:17 am

QFT wrote:
kraftiekortie wrote:
The Unabomber was also someone with that sort of scientific background.


Who is Unabomber? I never heard of that person.

Ted Kaczynski
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Theodore John Kaczynski (/kəˈzɪnski/ kə-ZIN-skee; born May 22, 1942), also known as the Unabomber (/ˈjuːnəbɒmər/), is an American domestic terrorist and former mathematics professor.He was a mathematics prodigy, but abandoned his academic career in 1969 to pursue a primitive life. Between 1978 and 1995, he killed three people and injured 23 others in a nationwide bombing campaign against people he believed to be advancing modern technology and the destruction of the environment. He issued a social critique rejecting Leftism, opposing industrialization and advocating a nature-centered form of anarchism.

In 1971, Kaczynski moved to a remote cabin without electricity or running water near Lincoln, Montana, where he lived as a recluse while learning survival skills to become self-sufficient. He witnessed the destruction of the wilderness surrounding his cabin and concluded that living in nature was becoming impossible. He resolved to fight industrialization and its destruction of nature through terrorism, beginning his bombing campaign in 1978. In 1995, he sent a letter to The New York Times and promised to "desist from terrorism" if the Times or The Washington Post published his essay Industrial Society and Its Future, in which he argued that his bombings were extreme but necessary to attract attention to the erosion of human freedom and dignity by modern technologies that require mass organization.

Kaczynski was the subject of the longest and most expensive investigation in the history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation up to that point. The FBI used the case identifier UNABOM (University and Airline Bomber) to refer to his case before his identity was known, which resulted in the media naming him the "Unabomber". The FBI and Attorney General Janet Reno pushed for the publication of Industrial Society and Its Future, which appeared in The Washington Post in September 1995. Upon reading the essay, Kaczynski's brother David recognized the prose style and reported his suspicions to the FBI. After his arrest in 1996, Kaczynski—maintaining that he was sane—tried and failed to dismiss his court-appointed lawyers because they wanted him to plead insanity to avoid the death penalty. In 1998, a plea bargain was reached under which he pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to eight consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole


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16 Jan 2022, 6:46 pm

FBI identifies hostage-taker at Texas synagogue

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The FBI on Sunday identified Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British national, as the man who held four people hostage at a Texas synagogue in an hours-long standoff Saturday before a rescue team entered the building and killed the suspect.

An FBI Hostage Rescue Team killed Akram after the hostages were released around 9 p.m. local time, the agency said. Crime scene investigators at the Beth Israel Congregation in Colleyville, Texas -- about 15 miles from Fort Worth -- recovered one firearm they believe belonged to Akram, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told CNN.

Four people, including Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, were initially taken hostage. One hostage, a man, was released unharmed around 5 p.m., Colleyville Police Sgt. Dara Nelson said.

Cytron-Walker said the gunman became "increasingly belligerent and threatening" in the last hour of their hostage crisis.

In a statement to CNN, Cytron-Walker described the ordeal as a "traumatic experience." He said that he and the other hostages are alive today due to the multiple security courses his congregation has taken over the years.

President Joe Biden told reporters Sunday authorities "just don't have enough facts" to speculate why a man targeted a Colleyville, Texas synagogue, taking four hostages Saturday, calling the standoff "an act of terror."

Akram arrived in the United States approximately five weeks ago, landing at New York's JFK Airport, a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN.
He arrived legally in December, a separate federal law enforcement source told CNN. Therefore, Akram cleared vetting prior to his arrival, which would have been checked against classified and unclassified information available at the time.

Akram was not on a US government watchlist, the law enforcement source said.
A review conducted thus far of U.S. intelligence community databases containing terror-related threat information shows no prior derogatory information on Akram, according to the official.

British intelligence officials have advised their US counterparts that a preliminary review of their databases similarly show no derogatory information about Akram, the source said. UK authorities are continuing to scrub their systems.

Authorities are still trying to figure out how Akram traveled to Texas.

Akram also told hostage negotiators that he was not going to leave the synagogue alive, a US law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN.
The source said that during the conversation with the negotiators, Akram demanded that Siddiqui be brought to the synagogue so they could both die together.


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ASPartOfMe
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16 Jan 2022, 9:23 pm

Greater Manchester Police Arrest 2 Teens Allegedly In Connection With Colleyville Synagogue Hostage Standoff

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Greater Manchester Police said in a statement on Sunday, January 16 that two teenagers had been arrested allegedly in relation to the hostage situation that took place at a Colleyville synagogue Saturday, January 15.

Officers from Counter Terror Policing North West detained the two teens in South Manchester on Sunday afternoon. They remain in custody for questioning.

CTP North West and CTP International operations continues to assist the investigation being led by the US authorities, and police forces in the region are liaising with local communities to put in place any measures to provide further reassurance,” the statement said.

This statement is contradicts the FBI’s assertion that the suspect was acting alone.


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17 Jan 2022, 4:56 am

QFT wrote:
Quote:
Siddiqui -- a Pakistani scientist who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and obtained a doctorate from Brandeis University


I kinda feel bad for her. I wish they could shorten her sentence, particularly since

a) The initial thing was hand written notes rather than actual attack.

b) She was said to be mentally unstable

c) She is MIT graduate in science. Just not a typical profile of a true criminal.

I guess the fact that she opened gunfire (although without killing anyone) didn't help. But, again, as her defenders said, she was mentally unstable. The fact that she kept *rejecting* said defense also makes her case unusual to say the least.

And again, she is MIT graduate and a scientist. Not a typical profile of a criminal. I just feel bad that her promising career was stopped by all this.


A number of the 9-11 terrorists were highly educated as well.

It's interesting she said "I hate Americans" and "Death to America." but happily enrolled and obtained a doctorate from a liberal arts college in Boston Massachusetts :lol:



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17 Jan 2022, 4:57 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
FBI identifies hostage-taker at Texas synagogue
Quote:
The FBI on Sunday identified Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British national, as the man who held four people hostage at a Texas synagogue in an hours-long standoff Saturday before a rescue team entered the building and killed the suspect.

An FBI Hostage Rescue Team killed Akram after the hostages were released around 9 p.m. local time, the agency said. Crime scene investigators at the Beth Israel Congregation in Colleyville, Texas -- about 15 miles from Fort Worth -- recovered one firearm they believe belonged to Akram, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told CNN.

Four people, including Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, were initially taken hostage. One hostage, a man, was released unharmed around 5 p.m., Colleyville Police Sgt. Dara Nelson said.

Cytron-Walker said the gunman became "increasingly belligerent and threatening" in the last hour of their hostage crisis.

In a statement to CNN, Cytron-Walker described the ordeal as a "traumatic experience." He said that he and the other hostages are alive today due to the multiple security courses his congregation has taken over the years.

President Joe Biden told reporters Sunday authorities "just don't have enough facts" to speculate why a man targeted a Colleyville, Texas synagogue, taking four hostages Saturday, calling the standoff "an act of terror."

Akram arrived in the United States approximately five weeks ago, landing at New York's JFK Airport, a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN.
He arrived legally in December, a separate federal law enforcement source told CNN. Therefore, Akram cleared vetting prior to his arrival, which would have been checked against classified and unclassified information available at the time.

Akram was not on a US government watchlist, the law enforcement source said.
A review conducted thus far of U.S. intelligence community databases containing terror-related threat information shows no prior derogatory information on Akram, according to the official.

British intelligence officials have advised their US counterparts that a preliminary review of their databases similarly show no derogatory information about Akram, the source said. UK authorities are continuing to scrub their systems.

Authorities are still trying to figure out how Akram traveled to Texas.

Akram also told hostage negotiators that he was not going to leave the synagogue alive, a US law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN.
The source said that during the conversation with the negotiators, Akram demanded that Siddiqui be brought to the synagogue so they could both die together.


On the brightside he's been given a one way trip to paradise.



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17 Jan 2022, 5:44 pm

cyberdad wrote:
It's interesting she said "I hate Americans" and "Death to America." but happily enrolled and obtained a doctorate from a liberal arts college in Boston Massachusetts :lol:


Are you sure you're not putting the cart before the horse there? :lol:


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17 Jan 2022, 6:02 pm

cyberdad wrote:
. . . It's interesting she said "I hate Americans" and "Death to America." but happily enrolled and obtained a doctorate from a liberal arts college in Boston Massachusetts.
She earned her doctorate in the early 1990s; but seems to have been radicalized by 2003.  By 2004, she was on the FBI's Most Wanted list, and she was arrested in 2008.  It was during her trial in 2009-2010 that Siddiqui interrupted the trial proceedings with vocal outbursts, and was ejected from the courtroom several times.

It is sad, however, that people come to America for jobs and education that they cannot find in their own homelands, only to turn against America because our comparatively liberal attitudes toward basic human rights conflict with their ultra-conservative religious ideologies.



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17 Jan 2022, 6:22 pm

Ok that makes sense. So at some point between getting her education and getting arrested she got radicalised.

We had a Bangladeshi student, Momena Shoma, who in 2019 was jailed for 42 years for trying to kill her homestay landlord with a knife, stabbing him multiple times in the neck in front of his daughter. By sheer luck he survived the attack. The horrible thing about this radicalised individual is that her victim was actually very kind to her while living in Australia, Momena was a baby faced young girl who was according to her landlord was the last person he could have imagined would have attacked him.

Image

Yes that's her at 24 years of age!! and apparently she isn't finished yet. In 2020 she tried to kill another prisoner with a knife because the opportunity presented itself to kill another unbeliever. The targeted prisoner did not know her or had any history. She is now potentially facing a century behind bars after her second attempt at terrorism.