Armed man takes hostages at Texas synagogue, source says
Credit to ABC News/Meredith Deliso and Aaron Katersky
A hostage situation is underway at a synagogue in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Saturday, several sources told ABC News.
An armed suspect claiming to have bombs in unknown locations took a rabbi and three others hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel, a source familiar with the situation told ABC News. It is unclear to what extent the hostage-taker is armed.
A U.S. official briefed on the matter told ABC News the hostage-taker is claiming to be the brother of convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, but authorities have not yet confirmed his identity. The suspect is demanding to have the sister freed, the official said.
Siddiqui is incarcerated at Carswell Air Force Base near Fort Worth, according to the source. She had alleged ties to al-Qaida and was convicted of assault and attempted murder of a U.S. soldier in 2010 and sentenced to 86 years in prison.
There is believed to be one suspect at this time, the source said. The FBI has responded to the scene, along with local authorities and hostage negotiators. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also responding to the situation, according to an agency spokesperson.
A White House official confirmed to ABC News that the White House is “closely monitoring” the hostage situation. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has also been briefed on the situation, according to a DHS spokesperson.
The Colleyville Police Department’s SWAT team responded to the area midday Saturday and evacuated residents in the immediate area.
As of 2:20 p.m. local time, the situation “remains ongoing,” the department said on social media. “We ask that you continue to avoid the area.”