‘Frightening Anti-Semitism’: Jewish Community Focused On Security After Texas Synagogue Hostage Situation

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BOSTON (CBS) — Four hostages are safe after a 10-hour standoff at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas on Saturday. Police said a 44-year-old Muslim British national, Malik Faisal Akram, disrupted the service and took hostages, including the rabbi, and ranted against Israel and Jews.

Rabbi Marc Baker of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston is grateful the hostages are safe.

“This extremist targeted Jews in a synagogue on the holiest day of the week, and we need to call that out for what it was, which was an act of frightening anti-Semitism. This is happening too frequently,” Baker told WBZ-TV.

“You come online after the sabbath, you read that this hostage situation is unfolding and the first thing you think is this could be us, this could be me, this could be anywhere.”

He said hundreds of local synagogues and institutions have invested in security and training in the event of such a threat.

“We’ve learned that the training and the preparation and the relationships that you build beforehand are essential for making it through something like this,” Baker said.

“We are laser-focused on making sure that no one in our community needs to go to synagogue, worship, or practice their religion from a place of fear.”

Authorities said Saturday night that Akram had died.

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