Rabbi 'overflowing with gratitude' as community rallies around his congregation following hours-long hostage standoff

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Colleyville Texas Rabbi 'Overflowing With Gratitude' As Community Rallies Around His Congregation F

1/18/2022 1:11:00 PM

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker's voice quavered Monday night as he described his emotions since he and three others escaped a hostage situation at his synagogue Saturday

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Texas rabbi: Captor grew 'belligerent' late in standoff | AP NewsCOLLEYVILLE, Texas (AP) — A rabbi who was among four people held hostage at a Texas synagogue said Sunday that the British man who held them captive became “increasingly belligerent and threatening” toward the end of the 10-hour standoff. here is a picture of the British extremist ... MSM seems to want to avoid showing it... Not sure why... Then he said “Spot of tea Governor” …… I bet he'll hey 80 years, while a truck driver accidentally had a crash and got 110 years. And that woman should be given the death penalty not 85 years.

Texas rabbi: Security training paid off in hostage standoff | AP NewsCOLLEYVILLE, Texas (AP) — U.S. and British authorities Monday continued an investigation into the weekend standoff at a Texas synagogue that ended with an armed British national dead and a rabbi crediting past security training for getting him and three members of his congregation out safely. Security training paying off is no different than training for war. Which is no different than a state of war because of the known disposition to contend by violence is what it is all about. The fact that security training for synagogues is necessary is truly awful...but something Jews throughout history, in every country they've been in residence, have faced, and worse. It needs to stop.

Rabbi held hostage by gunman leads prayer service at Texas synagogueThe Texas rabbi who threw a chair at a gunman to help him and two others survive a hostage situation held a prayer service in the wake of the deadly ordeal. Lying Ted SenTedCruz reads 'Green Eggs and Ham from Senate floor' to comfort and cheer up a weary nation... Bipartisanship KUMBAYA 🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲 POTUS SenatorSinema SpeakerPelosi VotingRightsAct Sen_JoeManchin EndFilibuster Rest In Peace Capitol Police Officer Brian Sisnick. 🙏 🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲 VotingRightsAct USHistory 🚨Ohio Supreme Court has declared GOP-drawn legislative maps invalid, agreeing with voting rights advocates that the lines were unconstitutionally gerrymandered. Court is giving Ohio Redistricting Commission 10 days to fix. 🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲 VotingRights USHistory

Colleyville synagogue rabbi says he threw chair before escaping hostage standoffThe rabbi of a Colleyille synagogue where a gunman took hostages during livestreamed services said Monday that he threw a chair at his captor before escaping with two others after an hourslong standoff.

Texas Synagogue Attacker Didn't Appear Threatening Or Suspicious, Rabbi SaysThe rabbi and three other men were participating in the service that was being livestreamed when they were taken hostage.

Texas Rabbi Says He Threw Chair at Synagogue Hostage-Taker Before EscapeCharlie Cytron-Walker said that he began to plan the escape in the tense final hour of the standoff, making sure he and his fellow hostages were near an exit. There's no greater joy than having financial freedom and a life free debts 😊, that's why I keep posting a comment about Mrs Michael90078

(CNN)Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker's voice quavered Monday night as he described his emotions since he and three others escaped a hostage situation at his synagogue Saturday. The enormity of the ordeal in Colleyville, Texas -- being held at gunpoint for hours and making a bold but terrifying escape -- is difficult to process, he said, but a wave of support from his community and the others around the world left him optimistic that his congregation will recover. The FBI is investigating the Texas hostage standoff as a 'terrorism-related' incident, the agency says"I'm so grateful, so unbelievably grateful, tonight -- unlike every other service like this that I have done -- we will not be saying our traditional prayer for mourning," he told a crowd gathered at a healing service at White's Chapel United Methodist Church and thousands of supporters watching a livestream of the event. The service was held two days after an armed man entered Congregation Beth Israel and produced his weapon during its Sabbath service, kicking off an 11-hour standoff with local, state and federal authorities that ended with the suspect dead."It could have been so much worse and I am overflowing, truly overflowing with gratitude," Cytron-Walker said. Read MoreMembers of the congregation who were held hostage credited security courses, including active shooter training, with helping them get through the ordeal. "This training saved our lives," Jeffrey Cohen, the vice president for the board of trustees at Congregation Beth Israel, wrote in a Facebook post."I am not speaking in hyperbole here -- it saved our lives."The hostage-taker was identified by authorities as Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British national who arrived in the US via a flight to New York in late December, a US law enforcement source told CNN.During the ordeal, he"spoke repeatedly about a convicted terrorist who is serving an 86-year prison sentence in the United States," the FBI said in a statement.The rabbi acknowledged the trauma of the incident expands beyond those who were trapped in the synagogue to all members of the congregation, including those who watched it unfold on a livestream of the Sabbath service. "At any moment, I thought there was going to be a gunshot," Stacey Silverman, a member of Congregation Beth Israel, told CNN of watching the livestream, which was set up so people could watch services from home during the Covid-19 pandemic.Silverman said she was left"terrified and heartbroken" after watching about an hour of the ordeal on the livestream. She described the hostage-taker as"screaming hysterically" at times and occasionally speaking different languages.As the hours ticked by, the gunman"became increasingly belligerent and threatening," Cytron-Walker has said.Hostages describe how they made their escapeWhen the gunman began yelling and congregants realized they were hostages, Cohen said he quickly dialed 911, put the phone face down, and followed the hostage taker's directions.What it was like inside the Colleyville, Texas, synagogue during the 11-hour hostage standoff"But not exactly as commanded," he said on Facebook."Instead of going to the back of the room, I stayed in line with one of the exits."As the hours went by, Cohen said he began to slowly move a few chairs in front of himself."Anything to slow or divert a bullet or shrapnel," he said.Throughout the hostage situation, Cohen said they all worked to keep the gunman engaged in conversation."As long as he was talking and somewhat calm, we bought the FBI time to position."One of the hostages was released unharmed around 5 p.m., Colleyville police said.Hours later, Cytron-Walker saw his opening."When I saw an opportunity where he wasn't in a good position, I made sure the two gentlemen who were still with me that they were ready to go. The exit wasn't too far away," he told CBS News."I told them to go. I threw a chair at the gunman and I headed for the door, and all three of us were able to get out without even a shot being fired."An FBI team killed the suspect after the hostages made their escape around 9 p.m.Faith-based communities will continue to be targets of violence, federal officials warnBased on discussions with Akram and audio from the livestream, officials believe he was motivated by a desire to see the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving a federal prison sentence in Fort Worth after being found guilty of attempted murder and other charges in an assault on US officers in Afghanistan. She was not involved in the Colleyville attack, her attorney said Saturday.Jewish communities across the US are on heightened alert after the Texas standoff: 'Is our community under attack again?'"He wanted this woman released and he wanted to talk to her ... he said point-blank he chose this synagogue because 'Jews control the world. Jews control the media. Jews control the banks. I want to talk to the chief rabbi of the United States,'" Cohen told CNN on Monday.The FBI is investigating the incident as"a terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted," the bureau said in a statement. "I wish I had a magic wand. I wish I could take away all of our pain and struggle," Cytron-Walker said at the healing service."I know that this violation of our spiritual home was traumatic for each and every one of us. And not just us. In the road ahead, this is going to be a process."FBI and DHS warn faith-based communities 'will likely continue' to be targets of violenceTop officials from the bureau and the Department of Homeland Security warned in a letter Monday that,"Faith based communities have and will likely continue to be targets of violence by both domestic violent extremists and those inspired by foreign terrorists."Online forums linked to domestic violent extremists have referenced Jewish targets tied to conspiracy theories about Covid-19, the outcome of the 2020 election and"even the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and resettlement of Afghans to the United States," according to the letter obtained by CNN.Attacks on Jewish people are on the rise, the Anti-Defamation League has also warned. While the majority of the anti-Semitic incidents involve harassment and vandalism, there have also been assaults, and on at least six occasions since 2016, attacks have turned fatal.Akram recently arrived in US, spent time in Dallas homeless shelterAkram arrived in the US legally, a federal law enforcement source said, and was vetted before his arrival. He was not on any US government watch list, the source said.British intelligence told its US counterparts a preliminary review of its databases showed no worrying information on Akram, the source said, but UK authorities continue to investigate. How Aafia Siddiqui became an icon for terroristsTwo teenagers were arrested in south Manchester, England, in connection with the Texas incident and were awaiting questioning, UK Counter Terrorism Police for Greater Manchester said Sunday. Akram hailed from Blackburn, an industrial city of 121,000 just northwest of Manchester, British authorities said.Investigators are looking into how Akram traveled from New York to Texas.Between January 6 and 13, Akram spent three nights at Union Gospel Mission Dallas, a homeless shelter, according to shelter CEO Bruce Butler."We were a way station for him," he said."He had a plan. He was very quiet. He was in and out."Akram left the mission for the last time Thursday, according to their records.Akram's brother said the family is"absolutely devastated" by his actions and they"apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims," he wrote in a statement on Facebook, adding the family was in contact with police during the incident. Akram suffered from mental health issues, the statement said without elaborating.CNN's Travis Caldwell, Ed Lavandera, Ashley Killough and Kacey Cherry contributed to this report.