Terrorist Holding Four Hostages at Texas Synagogue

Colleyville law enforcement sit parked near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on January 15, 2022 in Colleyville, Texas. Police responded to a hostage situation after reports of a man with a gun was holding people captive at the synagogue. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
January 15, 2022

A terrorist is holding at least four hostages at a Texas synagogue as of Saturday evening, and is reportedly demanding the release of imprisoned terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, whose case has been championed by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

A man identified in reports as Muhammad Siddiqui is said be be demanding Aafia Siddiqui's release from jail after she was sentenced to 86 years in prison for plotting to murder U.S. military personnel.

Texas police are reportedly negotiating with the man, who was seen on a livestream of Congregation Beth Israel’s Saturday morning prayer session demanding, "You get my sister on the phone" and "I am gonna die," according to the BBC. The man believed to be the hostage taker also reportedly said, "there is something wrong with America."

CAIR, one of the leading Muslim-American advocacy groups that has routinely been accused of fostering anti-Semitism, is one of Aafia Siddiqui’s chief defenders. In November, CAIR joined with anti-Semitic activist Linda Sarsour in Texas to hold an event focused on "the campaign to free Dr. Aafia Siddiqui," according to a copy of the invitation event.

CAIR also came under fire last year when a prominent spokeswoman for the group, Zahra Billoo, dubbed "Zionist synagogues" "enemies" of the Muslim people.

A CAIR spokesman, when contacted by the Washington Free Beacon, declined to comment on its recent advocacy in Texas on behalf of the imprisoned Siddiqui. The spokesman also would not comment on statements by its member calling synagogues "enemies," and referred the Free Beacon to a statement calling the hostage situation "pure evil."

"We strongly condemn the hostage-taking at Congregation Beth Israel in #Colleyville, Texas," CAIR said on Twitter. "This latest antisemitic attack on Jewish Americans worshipping at a synagogue is an act of pure evil."

"We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community, and we pray that law enforcement is able to swiftly and safely free the hostages," CAIR tweeted. "We are in contact with local community leaders to learn more and provide any assistance that we can."


Update 8:09 p.m.: A previous version of this story said that the hostage-taker claimed to be the brother of Aafia Siddiqui, according to ABC News. A lawyer for Aafia Siddiqui's brother told ABC News her brother is in Houston.