A man on Saturday took multiple hostages at the Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who is currently serving an 86-year prison sentence for the attempted murder of American troops and FBI agents who arrested her.
Although initial reports suggested the hostage taker was Siddiqui’s brother, a former lawyer of the brother claimed that he was not involved in the hostage situation, according to The Daily Beast news site. Upon hearing about the incident, Siddiqui released a statement telling the hostage taker to stand down, it reported.
Aafia Siddiqui is a Pakistani neuroscientist who moved to the US in 1990 on a student visa and subsequently studied at the University of Houston before transferring to MIT, where she triple-majored in biology, anthropology and archaeology, and later received her PhD from Brandeis University, as reported in Peter Bergen’s book The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict Between America and Al-Qaeda. After marrying anesthesiologist Amjad Mohammed Khan in an arranged marriage, Siddiqui had two sons and a daughter in 1996, 1998 and 2002.