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FBI Director Wray Says Hostage Standoff in Texas Was ‘An Act of Terrorism’

By Steve Neavling

FBI Director Christopher Wray called Saturday’s hostage standoff at a Texas synagogue an “act of terrorism targeting the Jewish community.”

“This was not some random occurrence,” Wray said in an address to the Anti-Defamation League on Thursday. “It was intentional; it was symbolic, and we’re not going to tolerate anti-Semitism in this country.”

He added, “We recognize that the Jewish community, in particular, has suffered violence and faces very real threats from really across the hate spectrum.”

Wray’s statements are in stark contrast to the bureau’s initial statements that the attacker, Malik Faisal Akram, was not motivated by antisemitism. On Saturday night, Matthew DeSarno, special agent charge of the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, said Akram was driven by an issue “not specifically related to the Jewish community.”

Wray’s sought to send a different message. 

“To be targeted at your place of worship, a space meant to be a sanctuary in every sense of the word, is, in my view, one of the most heinous acts of violence that can be committed,” Wray said. 

Wray pledged to continue combating anti-Semitism. 

“e’re going to keep digging to get more answers for Congregation Beth Israel, for the Colleyville community, and for the Jewish community as a whole,” Wray said. “I know it’s disheartening to see that these kinds of attacks continue to happen and that there are people out there who target members of the Jewish faith.

“But you can be confident that we in the FBI stand with you. And it is my hope that you will continue to see us as a trusted partner and as a valued resource, as we work together in our collective fight against violent extremism.”

To read Wray’s full address, click here.


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