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Local Jewish congregation reacts to Texas synagogue hostage standoff

Marian Bouchot KESQ

A man held hostages for more than 10 hours in a Colleyville, Texas synagogue on Saturday night.

The Colleyville Police Chief said the gunman had originally taken four people hostage, including the rabbi. Officials say all hostages were safely released Saturday night and the gunman was dead

There was a massive response from the FBI, Swat teams, and several local police departments.

ABC News reports the suspect demanded the release of a Pakistani terrorist, Aafia Siddiqui. She is serving 86 years at Carswell Air Force base near Fort Worth.

She had alleged ties to Al-Qaeda and was convicted in 2010 of attempted murder of U.S. soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan.

The White House and the Department of Homeland Security have been briefed on what happened and the investigation is ongoing.

Rabbi Shimon Posner from Chabad of Rancho Mirage said as more information becomes available about the incident, its congregation's security team will analyze what be gleaned therefrom.

“I'll do whatever needs to happen to be safe, secure, responsible. And we will continue to do what we do and we will continue to flourish. They will not win, they never do," said Posner. “Our security is in good hands and everything will be reviewed as necessary. Security, like anything else, it's constantly evolving and you have to always be learning new things from new circumstances.”

Palm Springs Chief of Police tweeted out a pledge that the department will pay extra time and attention to the local Jewish community.

“We want to make sure that [law enforcement] are in a position where they can be proactive and finding these people who are looking to do horrible things and stopping them before they hurt themselves and others," said Posner. “You can't react with cowardice. You have to have resolve that what I'm doing is a good thing. It deserves to be done. It must be done.”

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.


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