Texas synagogue hostage-taker demanded the release of convicted terrorist 'Lady Al Qaeda' during 10-hour standoff, reports say

Texas synagogue hostage-taker demanded the release of convicted terrorist 'Lady Al Qaeda' during 10-hour standoff, reports say
On the left, A law enforcement official stands patrol on a main road leading to Congregation Beth Israel synagogue. On the right, an image of Aafia Siddiqui.AP Images
  • The man who took four people as hostages at a Texas synagogue was killed, authorities said.
  • During the standoff, reports say he was heard on live-stream demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui.

A man who was killed after taking four people hostage at a Texas synagogue on Saturday was heard on live-stream during the standoff demanding the release of a convicted terrorist, according to ABC News.

Multiple law enforcement sources told the media outlet that the hostage-taker, who has not been identified, called for Aafia Siddiqui's freedom.

Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence in a Texas federal prison after being convicted of attempting to murder a US soldier in 2010, has been dubbed "Lady Al-Qaeda" by the world's media.

The Pakistani, American-educated neuroscientist is now incarcerated in Carswell Air Force Base, some 30 miles away from the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas — where the 10-hour standoff took place.

Siddiqui's release has long been sought by militant Islamists, per NBC News and Foreign Policy, with both the Taliban and Islamic State offering to release American prisoners in exchange for her freedom. At one point, Siddiqui was the FBI's most wanted woman.


Authorities did not confirm that the hostage-taker made this specific demand, NBC News reported.

But the special agent-in-charge of the FBI's Dallas field office, Matt DeSarno, told reporters that the hostage-taker "was singularly focused on one issue and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community."

According to NBC News, the man referred to Siddiqui as his "sister." But Siddiqui's brother's legal counsel John Floyd said that he was not responsible for the situation and was not near Colleyville at the time.

Siddiqui's lawyer also distanced the convicted terrorist from the hostage situation. "She's always said, and I'm sure maintains, she does not support it — she does not support violence," said Marwa Elbially, a Dallas attorney, during an interview with NBC News.

In a statement Saturday, President Joe Biden said that "there is more we will learn in the days ahead about the motivations of the hostage-taker."


All four hostages in the standoff were released, unharmed.