Canadian flag
Canadian flagiStock

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), a Canadian Jewish advocacy organization, on Sunday called for more security for Jewish institutions following the hostage taking incident at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.

“CIJA’s Board of Directors, alongside the leadership of Jewish Federations across Canada and Canadian Jews from coast to coast, followed the horrific situation in Colleyville, Texas yesterday with bated breath. We were deeply relieved to learn that all the hostages were rescued unharmed after a terrifying 11-hour ordeal,” said CIJA co-chairs Joel Reitman and Jeff Rosenthal in a statement.

“Law enforcement at all three levels in the U.S. are to be commended for acting strategically and decisively. Our thoughts and prayers are with the hostages, their families, and the community in Colleyville as they begin to process this trauma,” they added.

“Antisemitism is a growing problem around the world. We re-iterate our call for increased investment in the security of the Jewish community in Canada, including the establishment of a Community Security Trust (CST) modeled after the CST in the U.K. and enhancement of the Security Infrastructure Program which would benefit all at-risk minorities in this country,” concluded the statement.

On Sunday, the gunman who burst into the Dallas-area synagogue and held four people hostage for hours was identified as 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, a citizen of the UK.

Akram’s name was released by the FBI after the British government confirmed that the gunman involved in Saturday’s hostage situation in Colleyville, Texas was a British national.

Akram had taken four hostages in the synagogue and could be heard ranting on a livestream of the synagogue’s Shabbat services, as he demanded the release of a Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted of trying to kill US army officers in Afghanistan.

The hostages were ultimately freed and Akram was killed.