Metroplex Jewish Parishioners Rescued After Tense Standoff with Armed Suspect
An over 10-hour standoff ended through forceful action by federal authorities in the Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington Metroplex on Saturday night.
The standoff started Saturday morning at about 10:40am at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. ABC affiliate, WFAA-TV, reported that a SWAT team with the Colleyville Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and the FBI initially responded to the standoff.
When the standoff ended hours later, the suspect was killed and the remaining hostages were rescued.
ABC News reported that an armed suspect claimed to have bombs in multiple locations when a rabbi and three other people were taken hostage at the synagogue. One of the hostages was released at about 5pm.
Colleyville Police Chief Michael Miller said an elite FBI hostage rescue team breached the synagogue at about 9 p.m. local time and rescued the hostages. Miller and FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matt DeSarno confirmed the suspect was dead in a "shooting incident," but did not provide specifics.
DeSarno said they were aware of the suspect's identity, but were not releasing his name.
ABC News also reported Saturday evening that multiple law enforcement sources said the now-deceased suspect was demanding the release of a convicted terrorist, later identified as Aafia Siddiqui.
Siddiqui is incarcerated at Carswell Air Force Base near Fort Worth, according to ABC News. 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.
Following the rescue of the hostages, President Joe Biden released a statement: "There is more we will learn in the days ahead about the motivations of the hostage taker," Biden said. "But let me be clear to anyone who intends to spread hate -- we will stand against anti-Semitism and against the rise of extremism in this country. That is who we are, and tonight, the men and women of law enforcement made us all proud."