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Despite Storming Synagogue During Service to Demand for Release of Terrorist, FBI Claims Attacker Wasn't Targeting Jewish Community

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The FBI agent in charge of the attack that ended an 11-hour standoff at a Texas synagogue has raised eyebrows by claiming that the hostage-taking incident was not related to the religion of those he held captive.

“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’ll continue to work to find motive,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno said, according to CNN.

Four hostages were taken Saturday morning when a man entered the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville during Shabbat services. The incident ended when the FBI stormed the synagogue, killing the man. One hostage had been freed earlier; the other three were released at the end of the ordeal. None were reported injured.

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Lahav Harkov, the senior contributing editor and diplomatic correspondent of The Jerusalem Post, pushed back on DeSarno’s contention.

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Was this attack a reminder that anti-Semitism still exists?

“The idea that any attack on a synagogue is ‘not specifically related to the Jewish community’ is absurd enough,” she wrote in an Op-Ed.

The hostage-taker, Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British national who was killed when the FBI stormed the synagogue, demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who is currently in prison for trying to murder Americans in 2010.

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Harkov noted that Siddiqui seethed anti-Semitism, writing in a letter to then-President Barack Obama that Jews “have always back-stabbed everyone who has taken pity on them and made the ‘fatal’ error of giving them shelter.”

“It is this cruel, ungrateful back-stabbing of the Jews that has caused them to be mercilessly expelled from wherever they gain strength. This is why ‘holocausts’ keep happening to them repeatedly! If they would only learn to be grateful and change their behavior!!” Harkov quoted Siddiqui as having written

Harkov said it was a stretch to believe that anyone who allied himself with Siddiqui would not harbor similar hatred for Jews.

“The likelihood of someone being so passionate about releasing Siddiqui that he would hold people hostage at gunpoint and not know of her widely reported and Wikipedia-listed views about Jews is slim,” she wrote.

Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett framed the rescue as a victory over the ongoing forces of anti-Semitism.

Anna Salton Eisen, a former president of the synagogue, called that day’s ordeal “surreal.”

“This is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. You know, it’s a small town, and it’s a small congregation,” Eisen said during the incident, according to WSVN. “No matter how it turns out, it’s hard to fathom how we will all be changed by this, because surely we will be.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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