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January 16, 2022

Chairman Thompson Statement on Hostage Situation at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement after a hostage situation yesterday at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas:

“I commend law enforcement at all levels for coming together in a coordinated fashion to ensure the safe release of members of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas.  While we are thankful that worshippers at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue are now safe, we must acknowledge that this attack comes at a time when anti-Semitic threats against the American Jewish Community have risen at an alarming rate. I, along with the President and my congressional colleagues, reiterate my support for the American Jewish community, which is too often the target of hateful rhetoric and violence.”

“While the facts of the attack are under Federal investigation and the assailant is believed to have acted in support of a convicted foreign terrorist, this attack underscores the complexity of the current terrorist threat picture and diverse security risks posed to places of worship.”

“We must do more to protect places of worship that may be targeted. I have long supported the Non-Profit Security Grant Program and had hoped that the House-passed Build Back Better package, which made significant investments in the program, would be law by now.  That said, it is my fervent hope that – in the wake of this attack – there is renewed attention to the security needs of at-risk houses of worship."

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