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The FBI initially said the Coleyville, Texas, synagogue standoff "was not specifically related to the Jewish community."
However, on Sunday night, the FBI said the attack targeted the Jewish community.
The suspect, a 44-year-old British national, reportedly made repeated comments about convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui during the tense 11-hour standoff.
The FBI walked back earlier comments it made over the weekend and said in a statement Sunday night that it considered the standoff inside a Coleyville, Texas, synagogue a "terrorism-related matter" targeting the Jewish community.
On Saturday at around 11 a.m., a man entered the Beth Israel Synagogue. He took four people, including Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, hostage while the temple held a live-streamed service over Zoom and Facebook.
Around 5 p.m., the suspect, identified as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram, released one of the hostages.
Several hours later, around 9 p.m., he released the other three hostages. Moments later, Akram was shot dead. Authorities have not yet released details about Akram's death.
Matt DeSarno, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Dallas field office, told reporters over the weekend that Akram was "singularly focused on one issue, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community."
He declined to specify what that issue was. However, Akram could be heard on the livestream repeatedly referring to convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, dubbed "Lady Al Qaeda."
Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist, was the first woman arrested on terrorism charges after September 11. In 2010, she was convicted of the attempted murder of a US soldier and is currently serving an 86-year prison sentence.
In a statement released Sunday night, the FBI contradicted DeSarno's initial comments and said the attack "targeted" the Jewish community.
"We never lose sight of the threat extremists pose to the Jewish community and to other religious, racial, and ethnic groups," it said in a statement seen by Insider. "We have had a close and enduring relationship with the Jewish community for many years. We continue to work tirelessly with the Secure Community Network, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federation, and others to protect members of the Jewish community from all potential threats."
"This is a terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted, and is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force," the statement continued.
"Preventing acts of terrorism and violence is the number one priority of the FBI. Due to the continuing investigation, we are unable to provide more details at this time."
Read the original article on Insider