Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who was among the four hostages freed Jan. 15 from a Dallas-area synagogue, said there was "no question" the experience was traumatic, and thanked the community and world for the prayers and love, The Detroit News reported.
Cytron-Walker said multiple security courses he and his congregation participated in from the Colleyville Police Department, the FBI, the Anti-Defamation League and others that prepared him and other hostages to know when to flee.
Cytron-Walker has led Congregation Beth-Israel in Colleyville, Texas, since 2006, when he became the synagogue's first full-time rabbi. He has worked to bring a sense of spirituality, compassion and learning to the community, according to his biography, and he loves welcoming everyone, including LGBTQ people, into the congregation.
British national Malik Faisal Akram, 44, who was the only individual killed in the incident, took four people hostage at the synagogue. According to Axios, the United Kingdom's Greater Manchester police tweeted on Jan. 16 that officers had arrested and detained two teenagers in South Manchester for questioning in relation to the siege in Colleyville "as part of the ongoing investigation into the attack."
The suspect said he wanted to see Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence nearby, per the Texas Department of Public Safety. Siddiqui was convicted in 2010 for assaulting U.S. federal agents, employees and nationals in Afghanistan. Siddiqui's attorney condemned the synagogue incident, according to CNN.