Monday, January 17, 2022

With info scarce, US authorities, Jewish groups differ on Texas attacker’s motives

FBI Special Agent Matthew DeSarno was not speaking off the cuff on Saturday evening when he commented on the motive of the gunman who initiated an 11-hour hostage crisis at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, earlier that day.

“We do believe from our engagement with this subject that he was singularly focused on one issue, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community,” he said at a briefing near the US synagogue from which the final three of four hostages managed to exit unharmed roughly an hour earlier.

The remark surprised some of the reporters present, who again inquired about the attacker’s motive later on in the press conference.

But DeSarno held his ground — this time more assertively.

“I’m not ready to add any more about the demands set [by the hostage taker], except that they were specifically focused on one issue that was not specifically threatening to the Jewish community,” he said.

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