News & Politics

[UPDATED] All Hostages Safe After Texas Synagogue Hostage Standoff

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Update 11:44 p.m. ET

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the hostage-taker is dead:

U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne told a Star-Telegram reporter in a text that the hostage-taker is dead. A loud bang followed by what sounded like gunfire was heard about 9:12 p.m. Saturday outside the Colleyville synagogue where a hostage situation has been ongoing for hours.

Colleyville Police confirmed in a news conference that the hostages have all been freed and the suspect has been killed:

Update 10:48 p.m. ET

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott reports that all the hostages have been released and are safe.

Editor’s update, 10:10 p.m. ET

The Colleyville Police Dept. released the following update earlier this evening:

UPDATE at 6:15 p.m.: Shorty after 5:00pm, a male hostage was released uninjured. This man will be reunited with his family as soon as possible and he does not require medical attention. FBI Crisis Negotiators continue contact with the subject. Updates will be provided as they become available.

As of 9 p.m., the Colleyville Police Dept. reported that the situation “remains ongoing.”

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Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, was in the middle of Shabbat services that were being live-streamed on Facebook when a gunman burst in and took hostages. As of this writing, the situation is ongoing, but some details have already emerged.

Amichai Stein of Kan, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, reports that “The gunman says he is muslim and holding at least 6 people says ‘he will kill people if anyone gets close to the synagogue.’” Before the livestream from the synagogue was cut off, the gunman could be heard ranting in a foreign language that, according to journalist and trial attorney Marina Medvin, turned out to be Arabic. Medvin noted that the gunman said, “Are you listening? I am going to die. So don’t cry for me…”

Newsmax national correspondent Logan Ratick tweeted that “ABC is reporting one suspect has taken the rabbi and three others hostage at a synagogue in Colleyville, TX. The hostage-taker is claiming to be armed and says his sister is Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted in New York of trying to kill US military personnel (she’s incarcerated).”

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The family connections don’t stop there. According to terrorism expert Paul Sperry of The New York Post, Aafia Siddiqui is “an MIT scientist-turned-al Qaeda agent, who in 2010 was sentenced to 86 years in prison for planning a New York chemical attack. Known as ‘Lady al Qaeda,’ she is related to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. ISIS has tried to trade her release for journalist hostages.”

Why would Aafia Siddiqui’s brother choose a synagogue for his hostage-taking? Actually, a synagogue would be the most likely target for such a person, because of the deeply rooted anti-Semitism of the Qur’an. According to the Qur’an, Jews are called the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); they fabricate things and falsely ascribe them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); they disobey Allah and never observe his commands (5:13), and Muslims should wage war against them and subjugate them under Islamic hegemony (9:29), among many other slanders.

Meanwhile, the abduction of infidels as hostages is sanctioned in Islamic law and subject to particular rules. The renowned Islamic scholar al-Mawardi succinctly explained Islamic law for hostages: “As for the captives, the amir [ruler] has the choice of taking the most beneficial action of four possibilities: the first to put them to death by cutting their necks; the second, to enslave them and apply the laws of slavery regarding their sale and manumission; the third, to ransom them in exchange for goods or prisoners; and fourth, to show favor to them and pardon them. Allah, may he be exalted, says, ‘When you encounter those [infidels] who deny [the Truth=Islam] then strike [their] necks’ (Qur’an sura 47, verse 4).”

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Aafia Siddiqui’s brother, if that is indeed the man who is holding hostages at the synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, right now, seems to be intent on dying himself. This may mean that he will ultimately kill the hostages, in order to lay claim to the Qur’an’s promise of paradise to those who “kill and are killed” for Allah (9:111). That passage is the justification for suicide bombing, but the promise, which is unique in the Qur’an, is more open-ended than that and applies to anyone who kills non-Muslims and is killed in the process.

We can only hope that the situation in Colleyville will not end in that way. One thing is certain, though: however this tragic incident ends, the establishment media will use it to push their gun control agenda and hector Americans about “Islamophobia.”