Michigan Democrat initially suggests 'White supremacy' to blame for attack on Texas synagogue

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Democratic Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel suggested Saturday that “White supremacy” could be to blame for the attack on a Texas synagogue by a British national seeking the release of a convicted terrorist dubbed “Lady Al-Qaeda.” 

In a video clip first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, Nessel told MSNBC’s Yasmin Vossoughian that a rise in hate crimes and formation of White supremacist extremist organizations across the country would make the realization they perpetrated such an event hardly a surprise. According to the Free Beacon, it had been reported already that the suspect was demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani woman convicted in New York in 2010 on charges she sought to shoot U.S. military officers while detained in Afghanistan two years earlier. 

“My biggest concern, hearing that it’s at a synagogue, is that this is someone who’s intent on committing hate crimes and an act of domestic terrorism, and it’s not just a random person who wandered into a synagogue,” Nessel said after Voussoughian asked what her biggest concerns were over the then-unfolding event. 

“Now, we don’t know that for certain, but we have seen an incredible rise in rhetoric that is anti-Semitic being trafficked all around the country, and in the case of Michigan, that is why I established the first hate crimes and domestic terrorism unit anywhere in the state … because we were seeing an exponential rise in hate crimes and an exponential rise in the formation and the membership of these extremist organizations, many of which are White supremacy organizations,” she added.

Nessel said that one of her biggest concerns within Michigan, as well as across the country, was the “escalating threats” against minority and Jewish communities.

“So, if it does turn out that that is the motivating factor here, it would hardly be a surprise,” she said. 

The suspect, later identified by the FBI as Malik Faisal Akram, held hostages in the hours-long incident that ended in his death at the hands of law enforcement. There were no additional injuries. 

Siddiqui, whom he sought to free, is serving an 86-year prison sentence.

Law enforcement officials block a residential street near Congregation Beth Israel synagogue where a man took hostages during services on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Colleyville, Texas. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)
(AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.

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