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Texas Synagogue Hostages Had Offered Their Captor Tea

Hate crimes targeting the U.S. Jewish community constitute over half of all religion-based crimes nationwide, the Anti-Defamation League said.
Texas synagogue hostages had offered their captor tea
Law enforcement vehicles are seen in the area where a man has reportedly taken people hostage at a synagogue during services that were being streamed live, in Colleyville, Texas, U.S. January 15, 2022. REUTERS/Shelby Tauber

Reuters

Worshippers invited a stranger into a Texas synagogue when he knocked on their door and offered him tea before he brandished a gun and held them hostage in a 10-hour siege the FBI called a “terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted.”

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who was among the four congregants taken captive on Saturday, the Jewish sabbath, told CBS on Monday that he and others managed to escape after he threw a chair at the hostage-taker and then rushed for an exit door.

The FBI identified the man as Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British citizen.

“When I took him in, I stayed with him. Making tea was an opportunity for me to talk to him. And in that moment, I didn’t hear anything suspicious. Some of his story didn’t quite add up, so I was a little bit curious, but that’s not necessarily an uncommon thing,” the rabbi said.

The rabbi returned to prayer, after which he said he “heard a click – and it could have been anything – but it turned out it was his gun.”

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