Who is 'Lady Al Qaeda'? Aafia Siddiqui's brother who held hostages at Colleyville synagogue is shot
UPDATE: All four hostages taken by the suspected terrorist have been rescued to safety after Muhammad Siddiqui was shot dead by SWAT team agents. The hostages were held for over 10 hours before two of them managed a daring escape, prompting the SWAT team to immediately take action. Siddiqui was then spotted with a gun, after which dozens of agents stormed the synagogue to confront him.
COLLEYVILLE, TEXAS: A crisis situation has emerged at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, as an armed man has reportedly taken four people hostage at the prayer house. According to the latest reports, the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in the Dallas-Fort Worth area was having a prayer meet on Saturday, January 15, when the armed suspect interrupted the service. He later took a rabbi and three other congregants hostage, demanding the release of his convicted sister.
A US official revealed that the hostage-taker is identifying himself as Muhammad Siddiqui, the brother of Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui. The latter was sentenced to prison for her ties with al-Qaeda and attempt to kill US authorities in Afghanistan. Muhammad is reportedly armed and working alone, as the FBI and local police department try to intervene and stage a negotiation. Meanwhile, both state and international leaders are reacting to the emergency situation after the White House confirmed the reports.
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Public court documents identify Aafia Siddiqui as a neuroscientist from Pakistan, who was convicted in 2010 for assault and attempted murder of a US soldier stationed in Afghanistan. She was tried at the Manhattan Federal Court and sentenced to 86 years in prison. Currently, she is serving her sentence at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell at Fort-Worth. Details about her alleged brother Muhammad, however, remain unclear.
A SWAT team has reportedly been dispatched to the area surrounding the synagogue while local residents have been warned to steer clear of the area. Prior to the ambush, a Facebook live stream of the prayer service showed an angry man ranting about religion in the background. It also remains unclear exactly how many people are still inside the synagogue.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott informed, "The Texas Dept. of Public Safety is on the scene of the tense hostage situation in Colleyville, Texas. They are working with local and federal teams to achieve the best and safest outcome. I continue to monitor the situation through DPS."
US Democratic Rep Colin Allred exclaimed, "I’m praying for the congregants in Colleyville. No one should have to fear something like this may happen in their place of worship."
"Praying for our neighbors and law enforcement officers in Colleyville," tweeted Dallas mayor Eric Johnson. Texas State Rep Craig Goldman identified one of the hostages as Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, as he tweeted, "Please join me in prayer for the safety of Rabbi Charlie and all the congregants at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville."
The Texas Dept. of Public Safety is on the scene of the tense hostage situation in Colleyville, Texas.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 15, 2022
They are working with local and federal teams to achieve the best and safest outcome.
I continue to monitor the situation through DPS.@TxDPS https://t.co/bAARmIifdb
I’m praying for the congregants in Colleyville. No one should have to fear something like this may happen in their place of worship. https://t.co/LsgnjFBzai— Colin Allred (@ColinAllredTX) January 15, 2022
Praying for our neighbors and law enforcement officers in Colleyville. https://t.co/i2DAyEY8dc— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) January 15, 2022
Please join me in prayer for the safety of Rabbi Charlie and all the congregants at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville.— Craig Goldman (@GoldmanCraig) January 15, 2022