Statement to the Community on the Hostage Situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas

No one should ever be afraid to assemble in their place of worship.  We stand with our brothers and sisters in the Texas Jewish community as this frightening situation continues to unfold, and we pray for a swift and safe resolution.  We also thank NYPD, FBI, and law enforcement throughout the state for monitoring the situation and ensuring that our synagogues and communal institutions are protected. We are grateful to our many partners in the interfaith community and elected officials – including Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams – who have conveyed their thoughts and prayers.

The following are updates from our Community Security Initiative – a joint program of JCRC-NY and UJA-Federation of New York:  

1/15/22: 11:18 PM:  Texas Governor Abbott has announced all hostages are alive and safe!  CSI has been in direct contact with NYPD, FBI, and the Department of Justice, and there is no reason to believe that there is any local threat to synagogues here in New York.   Nevertheless, we expect a heavier NYPD presence at Jewish locations around the city overnight.

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1/15/22, 6:00 PM:  Colleyville Police have said that one of the hostages was released unharmed. He did not require medical attention and will be reunited with his family as soon as possible. FBI Crisis Negotiators continue contact with the subject and investigators believe three hostages are still being held inside the synagogue.

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1/15/22, 5:40 PM:  CSI was made aware early this afternoon of a dynamic hostage situation involving a synagogue in Colleyville, TX, that occurred during morning Shabbat services.
https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/crime/article257360862.html

It is our understanding that there are currently as many as four individuals being held by the hostage taker who is supposedly demanding the release of an al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist, Aafia Siddiqui, currently in prison in the U.S.
https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/nyregion/24siddiqui.html

CSI is closely monitoring the situation and is directly in contact with the NYPD and FBI.  There is a New York area link to the situation that is currently under investigation; however, we have no reason to believe that there is any clear and present danger to the greater New York area.  CSI will continue to update as the situation evolves.

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