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US Repaired Texas synagogue reopens months after hostage crisis

01:30  09 april  2022
01:30  09 april  2022 Source:   msn.com

FBI is working to determine where Texas synagogue hostage-taker acquired his gun, official says

  FBI is working to determine where Texas synagogue hostage-taker acquired his gun, official says The FBI is working to fill a "primary gap" in its investigation into the Colleyville, Texas, hostage standoff: finding out how the hostage-taker acquired his gun, FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno said during a Friday news conference. © ANDY JACOBSOHN/AFP via Getty Images Police vehicles sit outside of Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, on January 16, a day after the hostage situation. "We are actively focused on that piece of the investigation," DeSarno said.

COLLEYVILLE, Texas (AP) — In the three months since Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and three of his congregants were held at gunpoint in their Texas synagogue, new carpet has been laid in the sanctuary, the walls have been repainted, the entry retiled and new doors installed. He said it has been healing to watch.

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker adjusts the microphones while testing the sound system at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Three months after an armed captor took hostages at the Texas synagogue during a 10-hour standoff that ended with the escape of the hostages and fatal shooting of the gunman by the FBI, the house of worship is reopening. (AP Photo/LM Otero): Texas Synagogue Standoff Reopening © Provided by Associated Press Texas Synagogue Standoff Reopening Jeff Cohen, left, and Lawrence Schwartz look at a cell phone together in the lobby of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Three months after an armed captor took them hostage at the Texas synagogue, the house of worship is reopening. (AP Photo/LM Otero) © Provided by Associated Press Jeff Cohen, left, and Lawrence Schwartz look at a cell phone together in the lobby of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Three months after an armed captor took them hostage at the Texas synagogue, the house of worship is reopening. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

“Each time I came back in, I got to see us moving forward," Cytron-Walker said.

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  UK police: Two arrested in connection to Texas synagogue hostage standoff Two men were arrested in the United Kingdom on Thursday in connection to this weekend's hostage standoff at a Texas synagogue.Greater Manchester Police announced in a tweet on Thursday that two men were arrested in Birmingham and Manchester that morning. They are still in custody for questioning, according to authorities."Officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North West continue to support US authorities with their investigation into the events in Texas," the police wrote in a statement.

Lawrence Schwartz stands in doorway of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Three months after an armed captor took Schwartz and three others hostage at the Texas synagogue, the house of worship is reopening. (AP Photo/LM Otero) © Provided by Associated Press Lawrence Schwartz stands in doorway of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Three months after an armed captor took Schwartz and three others hostage at the Texas synagogue, the house of worship is reopening. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Congregation Beth Israel in the Fort Worth suburb of Colleyville will be rededicated on Friday, and members will celebrate Shabbat in their own building for the first time since the attack.

After the 10-hour standoff on Jan. 15 ended with the escape of the remaining hostages and an FBI tactical team rushing in and killing the gunman, the synagogue was left with broken doors and windows, bullet holes and shattered glass.

Anna Salton Eisen, a founder of the synagogue, said the scene reminded her of abandoned synagogues in Poland still marked with bullets from World War II that she saw while visiting that country in 1998 with her parents — both Holocaust survivors.

Antisemitism Is the Root of All White Supremacist Terrorism

  Antisemitism Is the Root of All White Supremacist Terrorism Antisemitism, the oldest hatred, is thriving in the United States, as evidenced by last weekend’s hostage crisis at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Texas. It’s still terrorizing Jewish communities and serving as the gateway to inspiring violent extremists, both here and abroad, who in turn use it to harm marginalized communities. As such, a multi-racial and multi-faith coalition must recognize and combat antisemitism to protect both our Jewish neighbors and our fragile democracy. Last weekend’s harrowing incident also reminded us that antisemitism is as stupid as it is dangerous.

"I was standing in my synagogue this time and it was just empty and silent and it showed the marks of the violence that had occurred,” Eisen said.

Eisen said the return will help the healing process.

“We are not defeated and we are not going to live in fear,” she said.

Leaders of the congregation made up of about 160 families said that as they return after holding services at a Methodist church during the repairs, they've been struck by the outpouring of love and support they've received. They also want to focus on fighting antisemitism, which led the gunman to their synagogue.

A stained glass window that once had bullet holes is now repaired at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Three months after an armed captor took hostages at the Texas synagogue during a 10-hour standoff that ended with the escape of the hostages and fatal shooting of the gunman by the FBI, the house of worship is reopening. (AP Photo/LM Otero) © Provided by Associated Press A stained glass window that once had bullet holes is now repaired at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Three months after an armed captor took hostages at the Texas synagogue during a 10-hour standoff that ended with the escape of the hostages and fatal shooting of the gunman by the FBI, the house of worship is reopening. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

“It’s my hope and my prayer that there’s greater awareness about how damaging hate can be,” said Cytron-Walker, who starts a new job in July at Temple Emanuel in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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He was preparing for a morning service on Jan. 15 at when a stranger came to the synagogue's door. Cytron-Walker welcomed the man who said he'd spent the winter night outside, chatting with him and making him tea.

CORRECTS SPELLING OF LAST NAME TO EISEN, NOT EISENAT - Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, left, and Anna Salton Eisen walk in Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Three months after an armed captor took hostages at the synagogue during a 10-hour standoff that ended with the escape of the hostages and fatal shooting of the gunman by the FBI, the house of worship is reopening. (AP Photo/LM Otero) © Provided by Associated Press CORRECTS SPELLING OF LAST NAME TO EISEN, NOT EISENAT - Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, left, and Anna Salton Eisen walk in Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Three months after an armed captor took hostages at the synagogue during a 10-hour standoff that ended with the escape of the hostages and fatal shooting of the gunman by the FBI, the house of worship is reopening. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Then, as Cytron-Walker and three of his congregants prayed — and others watched online — a click from a gun could be heard. During the standoff, British national Malik Faisal Akram demanded the release of a Pakistani woman serving a lengthy prison sentence in nearby Fort Worth after being convicted of trying to kill U.S. troops.

Michael Finfer, right, president of Congregation Beth Israel, laughs with Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, center, and Jeff Cohen while speaking to reporters at the synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Three months after an armed captor took the three men hostage at the synagogue, the house of worship is reopening. (AP Photo/LM Otero) © Provided by Associated Press Michael Finfer, right, president of Congregation Beth Israel, laughs with Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, center, and Jeff Cohen while speaking to reporters at the synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Three months after an armed captor took the three men hostage at the synagogue, the house of worship is reopening. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The hostages have said Akram cited antisemitic stereotypes, believing that Jews wield the kind of power that could get the woman released.

Inside the Texas synagogue hostage standoff

  Inside the Texas synagogue hostage standoff It started like most any Saturday for members of Congregation Beth Israel. © Brandon Bell/Getty Images COLLEYVILLE, TEXAS - JANUARY 16: A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on January 16, 2022 in Colleyville, Texas. All four people who were held hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue have been safely released after more than 10 hours of being held captive by a gunman. Yesterday, police responded to a hostage situation after reports of a man with a gun was holding people captive.

One hostage, 85-year-old Lawrence Schwartz was released after about six hours. At about 9 p.m., the remaining hostages made their escape as Cytron-Walker threw a chair at Akram and the hostages ran out a side door.

Cytron-Walker has credited past security training for getting them out safely, including training he received from the Secure Community Network, founded in 2004 by Jewish organizations.

The hostage-taking in Texas came just over three years after America’s deadliest antisemitic attack, when a gunman killed 11 worshippers from three congregations meeting at Pittsburg's Tree of Life synagogue.

“We believe the training is absolutely critical," said Michael Masters, Secure Community Network's national director and CEO. “You very rarely rise to an occasion in a critical incident, you fall back to your level of training."

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, center, Jeff Cohen, left, and Lawrence Schwartz look on as the sound system is adjusted at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Three months after an armed captor took four hostages, including the three men, at the Texas synagogue, the house of worship is reopening. (AP Photo/LM Otero) © Provided by Associated Press Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, center, Jeff Cohen, left, and Lawrence Schwartz look on as the sound system is adjusted at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Three months after an armed captor took four hostages, including the three men, at the Texas synagogue, the house of worship is reopening. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

He said that last year they trained over 17,000 people, and that number was surpassed in the first three months of this year.

Rabbi threw chair at Texas synagogue gunman before escaping; FBI casts standoff as terrorism

  Rabbi threw chair at Texas synagogue gunman before escaping; FBI casts standoff as terrorism A rabbi who endured a standoff at a Texas synagogue said he and other hostages fled after he threw a chair at the assailant, Malik Faisal Akram.Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker spoke to "CBS Mornings" hours after the FBI released a statement calling the standoff a "terrorism-related matter in which the Jewish community was targeted.

Congregation Beth Israel President Michael Finfer said Thursday that it will continue to do security training and that going forward it will have "far more police security than we’ve had in the past.”

Jeff Cohen, one of the four hostages, said he’s excited about the return.

“That’s part of that processing, it’s to look at where we’re going to be,” said Cohen, the synagogue’s vice president and security director.

Who Was the Colleyville Synagogue Hostage Taker? What We Know So Far .
British officials confirmed to Newsweek that the man killed in a shooting at the synagogue was from Britain.A gunman took four people hostage at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville on Saturday morning, and was heard ranting on a livestream of the synagogue's service. He appeared to have a British accent.

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This is interesting!