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US - January 15, 2022

Hostage Situation Unfolds During Livestreamed Texas Synagogue Service

A man appeared to take hostages, reportedly including a rabbi, at a Texas synagogue during a Saturday service that had been streamed live on Facebook.

The Colleyville Police Department said officers were conducting a SWAT operation on the same block as Congregation Beth Israel. Before it was taken offline, the livestream depicted an angry man shouting, sometimes about religion, and periodically engaging with law enforcement ― but the feed did not show exactly what was happening.

“I’m going to die at the end of this, all right? Are you listening? I am going to die,” the man said shortly before the Facebook stream cut off.

CNN reported that the synagogue’s rabbi was among the four hostages, citing a law enforcement source.

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are also assisting with the operation.

It is unclear how the man is armed. He claims to be the brother of convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, according to ABC News. Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist, was accused of having ties to al Qaeda and sentenced to 86 years in 2010. She is currently imprisoned at a facility near Fort Worth.

During her trial, Siddiqui expressed hostility toward Jewish people, suggesting at one point that potential jurors undergo genetic testing to confirm they are not Jewish. She has a brother who was working as an architect in Houston with his family, according to a 2006 profile in Boston Magazine.

Colleyville lies between Dallas and Fort Worth in northern Texas.

This story is developing. Please check back soon for more.

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