A hostage-taker has been killed at the Congregational House of Israel in Colville, Texas.

U.S. officials say all the hostages were released after a 12-hour standoff.

U.S.A. officials say all hostages have been evacuated after a 12-hour standoff. – Photo: Reuters

A statement from the FBI’s Dallas office said the four hostages, including a rabbi, were not harmed and that the incident was not a permanent threat.

About 20 minutes after the loud blast and gunfire from the synagogue, Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted, “Pray, all the hostages are alive and well.”

The FBI said its negotiators were in constant contact with the hostage-taker prior to the decision to intentionally violate the shrine’s boundaries.

Shortly after the announcement, media in nearby cities of Fort Worth and Dallas reported that the hostage-taker had died, giving his name as Muhammad Siddiqui.

The assailant also claimed that he was Aafia Siddiqui’s brother and had demanded the release of Dr. Aafia.

Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani-American neuroscientist, was sentenced by a New York court to 86 years in prison in 2010 for attempting to assassinate US officials in Afghanistan.

Aafia has nothing to do with the incident, lawyer

However, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s representative lawyer said that Aafia Siddiqui had absolutely nothing to do with the hostage-taking incident and the culprit was not her brother.

Speaking to CNN, Marwa Elbeli said, “Aafia Siddiqui does not want any violence against any human being, especially in her name. Certainly it has nothing to do with Dr. Aafia or her family.

“Whoever the attacker is, we want him to know that his actions have been condemned by Aafia Siddiqui and her family. We urge him to release the hostages immediately, and surrender.” said Marwa Elbe.

The suspect entered the Congregational House of Israel while the morning worship of ‘Shabbat’ in the synagogue was being broadcast live on Facebook, more than 12 hours later.

Part of the incident was recorded before the live broadcast was removed, law enforcement officials told CNN, adding that they had reviewed the live stream and with its help, the incident and the people involved.

Two law enforcement officials told CNN that investigators believe the perpetrator’s motive was a desire for Dr. Aafia’s release.

At the suspect’s request, the rabbi of the synagogue summoned a prominent rabbi from New York City.

Authorities say the alleged attacker had nothing to do with the rabbi, who told them that Dr. Aafia had been trapped and that he wanted her released.

In a separate US state, the Free Dr. Aafia Movement and the Muslim rights group Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the incident, saying Dr. Aafia’s brother had nothing to do with it.

John Floyd, head of the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and legal adviser to Dr. Aafia’s brother, said: “This anti-Semitic attack on a synagogue is unacceptable. We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community.”

He also said that he wanted to make it clear that the hostage-taker was not Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s brother, not even in the area where the horrific incident took place, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and her family. Strongly condemn this act and do not support the culprit.

He said that Dr. Aafia’s family has always advocated for her sister’s release through legal and non-violent means. Read more: Attack on synagogue: Fundraising campaign for victims of the Muslim community

Before the media reported the suspect’s death, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the legal adviser to Dr. Aafia’s family urged him to “immediately release the hostages and hand himself over to the police.” ‘

President Joe Biden condemns
On the other hand, US President Joe Biden pledged to stand against anti-Semitism and extremism in the country.

“I am grateful for the tireless work of law enforcement agencies at all levels who have worked tirelessly to rescue the hostages,” he said.

“We are sending love and strength to Congressmen in Israel, Colville, and members of the Jewish community,” he said.

Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, said he was grateful that all the hostages had been released.

The Jewish Community Relations Council said in a statement that no one should be afraid to gather in their synagogue.

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