We are all very grateful here that our prayers were answered, and the hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, ended with all four hostages released safely. The hostage taker, Malik Faisal Akram, was shot dead by an FBI SWAT team that stormed the building. (Full disclosure: this was a particularly harrowing weekend for my writer/researchers, Laura and Pat, since Laura’s sister is a member of that synagogue, and they’ve visited there and met the rabbi who was held hostage.)
Akram was a British citizen who came to the US a couple of weeks ago. He was demanding the release of Pakistani terrorist Aafia “Lady Al Qaeda” Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence (Akram falsely claimed to be her brother.) British authorities arrested two teenagers in Manchester and questioned them about possible involvement. Akram’s brother said the family was devastated, apologized to the victims, and claimed his brother had mental problems. He also asked how he was able to get a visa and fly on a plane to the US when he has a criminal record. Good question. This is a breaking story, so keep an eye on the news for continuing updates.
The FBI finally announced this morning that "this is a terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted, and is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force." I would sarcastically add, “What was your first clue?”
Please don’t think I’m being flip about this. A lot of people are rightly up in arms about how slow the FBI and President Biden were to recognize an obvious act of anti-Semitic/radical Islamic terrorism. The FBI special agent in charge initially stated, “We do believe from our engagement with this subject that he was singularly focused on one issue, uh, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community, uh, but we’re continuing to work to find motive and, and we will continue on that path.”
Some are calling for the FBI to be defunded and eliminated/replaced for its repeated failure to identify real terrorists and its whitewashing of anti-Semitic and anti-Republican attacks, even as it tries to redefine “domestic terrorists” to mean Trump voters, concerned parents or anyone who speaks out against the Democratic agenda.
President Biden is also taking heat over his initial reaction. While he later confirmed it was a terrorist attack, his initial quote was as bland as a mouthful of oatmeal:
“I don't think there is sufficient information to know why he targeted that synagogue, why he insisted on the release of someone who's been in prison for over 10 years...Why he was using anti-Semitic & anti-Israeli comments."
As is typical, Biden initially expressed more interest in where and how the terrorist obtained the gun than at whom he pointed it. How about expressing a little concern for how easily dangerous foreigners with criminal records are getting into the US these days?
Again, let’s all thank God that the hostages are safe, and pray that this will serve as a wake-up call both to our leaders and the misguided people who put them into power that there are real threats in the world, and there is genuine hatred of certain groups in the world. But in order to deal with these threats, you have to start addressing them honestly and looking for them in the right places.
Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media has more on the real “mental illness” that’s currently endangering us all.