BOSTON (CBS) — Four hostages are safe after a 10-hour standoff at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas on Saturday. Police said a 44-year-old Muslim British national, Malik Faisal Akram, disrupted the service and took hostages, including the rabbi, and ranted against Israel and Jews.
Rabbi Marc Baker of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston is grateful the hostages are safe.READ MORE: Natick elementary school custodian saves student choking in cafeteria
“This extremist targeted Jews in a synagogue on the holiest day of the week, and we need to call that out for what it was, which was an act of frightening anti-Semitism. This is happening too frequently,” Baker told WBZ-TV.
“You come online after the sabbath, you read that this hostage situation is unfolding and the first thing you think is this could be us, this could be me, this could be anywhere.”READ MORE: Boat, RV owners brace for higher gas prices this summer
He said hundreds of local synagogues and institutions have invested in security and training in the event of such a threat.
“We’ve learned that the training and the preparation and the relationships that you build beforehand are essential for making it through something like this,” Baker said.
“We are laser-focused on making sure that no one in our community needs to go to synagogue, worship, or practice their religion from a place of fear.”MORE NEWS: Dog daycare van stolen in Wrentham found in Rhode Island
Authorities said Saturday night that Akram had died.