All hostages are safe after being held at Texas synagogue, governor says

All hostages are safe after being held at Texas synagogue, governor says

10:48pm Jan 15, 2022
SWAT team members deploy near the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, near Dallas, on Saturday.
SWAT team members deploy near the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, near Dallas, on Saturday.
Andy Jacobsohn / AFP via Getty Images

Updated January 15, 2022 at 10:48 PM ET

All hostages held at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, are now safe, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said.

"Prayers answered. All hostages are out alive and safe," Abbott wrote on Twitter late Saturday.

Earlier, law enforcement officials were in contact with a man who took hostages inside the synagogue in Colleyville, which is about 15 miles northeast of Fort Worth, Texas.

Police said one male hostage was released uninjured around 5 p.m. local time. FBI Crisis Negotiators were continuing to talk to the man, Colleyville police said Saturday evening.

This is a breaking news update. Our earlier story continues below:

Authorities would not confirm the number of remaining hostages, but The Associated Press cited anonymous law enforcement officials who said there could be at least three remaining, including the congregation's rabbi.

A Shabbat service was scheduled at the Congregation Beth Israel at 10 a.m. A Facebook livestream of the service ended just before 2 p.m. The stream did not feature people on screen, but a man could be heard, speaking loudly and angrily at times.

The AP reported that the man was heard on the livestream demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist serving an 86-year sentence in a Texas prison. Siddiqui was convicted in 2010 of shooting at U.S. soldiers and officials in Afghanistan after they arrested her on suspicion of terrorism in 2008.

Thousands of people — who had heard about the situation via media reports online — were watching the Facebook stream.

Police first said they were "conducting SWAT operations" near the 6100 block of Pleasant Run Road just after 11:30 Saturday morning.

Colleyville Police Sgt. Dara Nelson told the Dallas Morning News that negotiators made contact with a potential suspect in the building.

The Dallas Police Department is deploying additional patrols to Dallas synagogues and other sites, Mayor Eric Johnson said.

"Police are working with the Jewish Federation and our local, state, and federal partners to monitor any concerns or threats based on the situation in Colleyville," Johnson said on Twitter.

President Biden has been briefed about the situation in Colleyville, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

"He will continue to receive updates from his senior team as the situation develops," Psaki wrote on Twitter. "Senior members of the national security team are also in touch with federal law enforcement leadership."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he's monitoring the situation and the state Department of Public Safety is working with local and federal teams "to achieve the best and safest outcome."

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