Thanks to all the local, state, and federal law enforcement officers — some 200 in total — who rescued the rabbi and others taken hostage at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas yesterday. The “hostage taker” interrupted Shabbat services that were live streamed over Facebook yesterday morning to demand the release of Lady Al Qaeda. Within ten hours law enforcement conducted an operation that resulted in the rescue of the hostages and the death of the “hostage taker” one way or another. It could have been so much worse. The Times of Israel quotes congregation Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker saying he’s “grateful to be alive.”
Colleyville Chief of Police Michael Miller and FBI SAC Matthew DeSarno briefed the press after the rescue operation last night (video below). DeSarno doesn’t say much. The Jerusalem Post story does a good a job conveying the known facts. The New York Post story is here.
We apparently are not to draw inferences from the fact that the “hostage taker” seized on a Jewish congregation or that he demanded the release of Lady Al Qaeda. The Biden administration assures us that there is “more that we will learn in the days ahead about the motivations of the hostage taker.” Seth Frantzman is not quite so reticent in the Jerusalem Post column “Officials are afraid to say ‘antisemitism’ when Jews are targeted.”
UPDATE: Jacob Magid has just posted this Times of Israel story on Rabbi Cytron-Walker.