Law enforcement officers with the FBI are being accused of lying as facts surface about the Texas Synagogue hostage crisis.
First, FBI officials claimed that Malik Faisal Akram took four hostages who were later “released” after a standoff that lasted for over 10 hours.
This is false. Yair Rosenberg, journalist for The Atlantic, reported, “Contrary to earlier reports, the Texas synagogue hostages weren’t released. They escaped. Wonder what else we don’t yet know.”
Texas Rabbi Charlie Cytron-walker, who was among the four hostages, clarified that they “escaped” by confronting the gunman themselves and without help from the FBI.
“The last hour of the standoff, he wasn’t getting what he wanted,” the Rabbi said. “It didn’t look good. We were terrified.”
“When I saw an opportunity, the exit wasn’t too far away. I threw a chair at the gunman and I headed for the door,” he continued.
The FBI appeared to take credit by claiming they negotiated for nearly 12 hours as the hostages were finally released “after a loud bang and the sound of gunfire. could be heard at Congregation Beth Israel.”
Watch the clip:
“The last hour of the standoff, he wasn’t getting what he wanted. It didn’t look good. We were terrified.
“When I saw an opportunity .. the exit wasn’t too far away. I threw a chair at the gunman and I headed for the door.” pic.twitter.com/vcgezo2xZq
— Bill Grueskin (@BGrueskin) January 17, 2022
Second, another statement from the FBI falsely claimed the attack was not related to anti-Semitism.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Matt DeSarno made appalling comments when addressing reporters over the weekend. DeSarno argued the hostage-taker’s demands were “not specifically related to the Jewish community.”
This is false. The FBI was immediately slammed by Jewish leaders as the motivation of the hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram was “obviously a matter of anti-Semitism” as the synagogue was not a random target.
Malik Faisal Akram himself expressed anti-Semitic beliefs and remarks during the attack. He was also demanding the release of convicted Islamic terrorist Aafia Siddiqui who has a long history of making anti-Semitic comments.
The FBI’s comments are “insulting and disappointing,” Roz Rothstein said, who is the co-founder and CEO of StandWithUs which combats anti-Semitism.
“Trying to separate Jews from the idea that Jews were targeted on their holy day at their house of worship is a mistake,” Rothstein said.
“It is also dangerous to downplay an attack against Jewish people as being something else at a time of rising anti-Jewish bigotry that we should all be paying attention to,” he said.
“It makes no sense to try and separate Saturday’s hostage crisis from the people who suffered and who were the most impacted: Jews, their Jewish families and the Jewish world.”
“Failure of the FBI to understand this is something of a pattern with law enforcement in the United States and frankly in Europe,” Kenneth Marcus said, founder and chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law.
“It seems that time after time, we see law enforcement officials fail to understand when an anti-Semitic incident occurs, even when it’s entirely obvious,” he said.
DeSarno’s comments were “not a mere slip-up” but are “symptomatic of a widespread failure with law enforcement to understand the problems of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism,’ Marcus added.
More from NY Post:
Anti-semitism has been on the rise in the US for several years and remains at a “historically high level,” data from the Anti-Defamation League show.
The organization clocked 2,024 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism targeting Jewish people across the US in 2020, the third-highest year for incidents since the ADL first started recording the data in 1979. In 2019, incidents hit an all-time high, the agency said.
Anti-semitism in the Big Apple has also increased, NYPD stats show.
In 2020, the NYPD recorded 125 anti-Jewish attacks in the five boroughs and in the first ten months of 2021, there were 144, data show.
Late Sunday, the FBI clarified its comments in a statement but again, did not say that the hostages were targeted for their faith.