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FBI says Colleyville gunman ‘singularly focused on one issue, not related to Jewish community’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

FBI Special Agent In Charge Matthew DeSarno speaks at a news conference near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on January 15, 2022 in Colleyville, Texas (Brandon Bell / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)
FBI Special Agent In Charge Matthew DeSarno speaks at a news conference near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on January 15, 2022 in Colleyville, Texas (Brandon Bell / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

COLLEYVILLE, Texas — The now deceased gunman who took four worshipers hostage at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas “was singularly focused on one issue, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community,” an FBI representative tells reporters at the scene.

Matthew Desarno, the special agent in charge of FBI Dallas says the suspect’s demands were “specifically focused on one issue,” without elaborating.

On a livestream of the first several hours of the hostage situation that was broadcast on Facebook Live, the suspect could be heard referencing Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani national known as the “Lady al-Qaeda.”

Siddiqui was convicted in 2010 by a New York City federal court of attempting to kill US military personnel. She is currently serving an 86-year sentence at Carswell Air Force Base near Fort Worth, Texas, some 15 miles southwest of Colleyville.

ABC, citing a source at the scene, said the suspect was demanding Siddiqui’s release.

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