Local rabbi reacts to hostage situation at synagogue in Texas

An armed man claiming to have explosives in unknown locations took a rabbi and three others hostage.

A SWAT situation is at a synagogue in Texas appears to be over.

Four people were released after being held hostage as police surrounded the congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, just outside of Dallas.

An armed man claiming to have explosives in unknown locations took a rabbi and three others hostage.

The man is believed to be motivated by the desire to release a prisoner, who is linked to terrorism, Aafia Siddiquie.

Siddiqui, dubbed “Lady Alqueda,” is serving an 86-year prison sentence for trying to kill American officers in Afghanistan.

Local leaders of the Jewish faith are reacting to the news.

Rabbi Levi Chanowitz with the Synagogue of Inverrary in Lauderhill is troubled what what is unfolding.

“It’s a shocking and horrifying incident and it’s tragic, and unfortunate that things like this are happening at this time and day and age,” Chanowitz said.

Last week, a police car was set on fire outside the synagogue in Lauderhill.

“It’s something that should not be tolerated,” Chanowitz said. “It shouldn’t be happening in the USA or anywhere.”

A recent report released by the American Jewish Committee found that one in four Jewish Americans say they have been targets of antisemitism in the last 12 months.

Also, 82% of Jewish Americans say antisemitism has risen over the last five years.

Siddiqui has a Florida connection.

A lawyer on her legal team works out of Tampa, but that lawyer couldn’t be reached for comment.


About the Author:

Bridgette Matter joined the Local 10 News team as a reporter in July 2021. Before moving to South Florida, she began her career in South Bend, Indiana and spent six years in Jacksonville as a reporter and weekend anchor.