An armed man holding a rabbi and congregants hostage at a Texas synagogue is demanding that US authorities release his convicted terrorist sister, according to reports.
Muhammad Siddiqui is claiming to be the brother of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted in Manhattan federal court in 2010 of trying to kill US authorities in Afghanistan. She is currently serving an 86-year prison sentence at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell in nearby Fort-Worth, according to public records.
The man told responders that “if anyone tries to enter this building, I’m telling you … everyone will die,” the Daily Mail reported.
Police in Colleyville, a community near Dallas-Fort Worth, dispatched a SWAT team to the residential neighborhood surrounding the temple. They warned residents to stay away from the immediate area of the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue where Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and some of his congregants are being held hostage, according to social media and a Twitter posting by Colleyville police.
Commenters on a Facebook livestream of a service at the synagogue say a man there is holding people hostage, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
An angry man can be heard ranting about religion on the ongoing livestream, the newspaper reported. However, the video does not show what is taking place in the temple, and it is unclear how many people are in the synagogue, the newspaper reported.
On social media, many were offering prayers for Cytron-Walker, leader of the Reform Jewish congregation that was established in 1999, according to its Facebook page.
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