Metropolitan Police Department

Local Police Up Presence at Places of Worship Due to Hostage Situation at Texas Synagogue

The department did not specify how long places of worship could expect to see the increased police visibility.

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Multiple law enforcement agencies issued statements Saturday saying they would increase their presence around places of worship due to the ongoing hostage situation at a Colleyville, Texas synagogue.

The Metropolitan Police Department said in a tweet that it would have "increased visibility around houses of worship." The department is in contact with the Mayor’s Office of Religious Affairs and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.

The Fairfax County Police Department issued a similar statement, saying its officers would "join departments in the National Capital Region to pay special attention to religious institutions."

The Montgomery County Police Department specifically said it was "proactively patrolling and checking all Jewish facilities in the county to ensure the safety and well-being of those in attendance."

The Prince William County Police Department said it was working "with our community partners in the days ahead to ensure everyone is safe at our houses of worship."

No credible threats have been reported in the D.C. area, authorities said.

Authorities said a man took a rabbi and other potential hostages during services at the address of Congregation Beth Israel synagogue near Fort Worth, Texas. At least four hostages were believed to be inside, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation and who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

The man allegedly told authorities that he wants the release of Aafia Siddiqui from federal prison. Siddiqui, 49, was convicted by a federal jury in 2010 of attempting to kill U.S. officers in Afghanistan and is currently being held at FMC Carswell, a federal prison in Fort Worth.

The departments did not specify how long places of worship could expect to see the increased police visibility.

The public was also encouraged to report "suspicious activity that potentially threatens the safety of our community," D.C. police said.

NBC Washington/The Associated Press
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