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'We're Not Going To Tolerate Antisemitism In This Country': FBI Director, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker Discuss Texas Synagogue Hostage Situation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There are new details about the New York City ties to the synagogue hostage situation that happened over the weekend in Texas.

For the first time, the director of the FBI addressed the incident alongside the rabbi who escaped.

As the FBI combs through phone records to better understand why 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram targeted the Beth Israel Congregation in Colleyville, Texas, the agency's director wanted to make one thing clear on a call with rabbis Thursday afternoon.

"This was not some random occurrence. It was intentional, it was symbolic and we're not going to tolerate antisemitism in this country," FBI Director Christopher Wray said.

As CBS2's Lisa Rozner reports, it comes after the FBI was criticized Saturday for saying the hostage taking of three congregants and Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker was "not related" to the Jewish community.

During the 11-hour standoff Saturday, Cytron-Walker says Akram demanded to speak with a leader in reform Judaism -- Rabbi Angela Buchdahl of Central Synagogue in Midtown East.

"He mentioned her by name because he knew that she played guitar ... I don't know how or why he chose her," Cytron-Walker said.

Akram thought Buchdahl could release convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui from federal prison.

"I was thinking, this guy really believes that Jews control the world," Cytron-Walker said. "I tried to explain to him to the best of my ability that it doesn't work that way."

Buchdal declined to speak with CBS2 on camera but did say as soon as she received those calls, she immediately contacted law enforcement.

The Anti-Defamation League organized Thursday's discussion and said Cytron-Walker opens every religious service going over security protocols, similar to when you board a flight. That stood out to Rabbi Joshua Stanton, of the East End Temple.

"The 13th precinct of the NYPD reached out ... to figure out what we can do proactively. How can we dispel the falsehoods about the Jews and Jewish people? How can we create a more pluralistic and righteous society?" Stanton said.

Cytron-Walker also said despite an increase in antisemitism, he does not believe this is a time of danger. In fact, for him, it's a time to wear his yarmulke proudly.

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