Hostages taken at Texas synagogue as crisis negotiators continue to work to secure victims’ release
Correspondent Bryan Llenas reported the latest on the hostage crisis Saturday on ‘Justice with Judge Jeanine’
The FBI is facing backlash on social media after an official said that the Texas synagogue hostage taker’s demands were “not specifically related to the Jewish community.”
“The FBI is now an organization solely focused on destroying the domestic enemies of the Democratic Party,” conservative talk radio show Jesse Kelly tweeted Sunday morning. “Any Republican Congress or Presidential candidate who doesn’t loudly proclaim his intention to massively reform or disband this organization should not be considered.”
Kelly’s tweet came in response to the Associated Press reporting that FBI officials said “the Texas synagogue hostage taker’s demands were specifically focused on issues not connected to the Jewish community.”
Special Agent In Charge Matthew DeSarno speaks at a news conference near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on January 15, 2022 in Colleyville, Texas. All four people who were held hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue have been safely released after more than 10 hours of being held captive by a gunman. Earlier this morning, police responded to a hostage situation after reports of a man with a gun was holding people captive.
(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
“We do believe from our engaging with this subject that he was singularly focused on one issue, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community. But we’re continuing to work to find motive,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Matt DeSarno said at a press conference.
Congregation Beth Israel. (Credit: Google Maps)
((Credit: Google Maps))
The hostage taker, who has been identified as a British citizen, took four hostages at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, near Fort Worth on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.
He allegedly demanded the release of a Pakistani woman who is imprisoned in Texas on charges of trying to kill American service members in Afghanistan.
The FBI and Justice Department previously described the woman, Aafia Siddiqui, as an “al-Qaida operative and facilitator” at a May 2004 news conference. She is serving an 86-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2010 on charges that she sought to shoot U.S. military members while in Afghanistan two year earlier.
UNDATED: This undated FBI handout photo shows Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman who at one time studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced on May 26, 2004 that Siddiqui is being pursued by the FBI for questioning about possible contacts with al-Qaida. (Photo by FBI via Getty Images)
( (Photo by FBI via Getty Images))
She has a history of anti-Semitism, including demanding that jurors in her case be DNA tested and removed “if they have a Zionist or Israeli background.”
The suspected hostage taker died at the scene. The hostages were released without injury.
The FBI was ripped on social media for the statement that the hostage taker had no direct demands related to the Jewish community, including calling for the FBI to be “defunded and eliminated.”
COLLEYVILLE, TX – JANUARY 15: Police cars remain parked at Good Shepherd Catholic Community church on January 15, 2022 in Colleyville, Texas. Police responded to the situation after reports of a man with a gun was holding hostages at the synagogue. (Photo by Emil Lippe/Getty Images)
((Photo by Emil Lippe/Getty Images))
The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the criticisms.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.
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