11 hours of fear, negotiation and finally relief
Soon, homes near the synagogue were evacuated as city, state and federal officials descended on the scene, the leader said. Mr. Akram was in contact with law enforcement officials throughout the ordeal, according to Mr. DeSarno.
“The trading team had a high frequency and duration of contact with him,” Mr. DeSarno said. There were times when communication broke down, he said. The “relationship” between Mr. Akram and the negotiators, according to Mr. DeSarno, “fluctuated a bit” and at times “became intense”.
Hostage-taking experts say maintaining dialogue is crucial.
“Crusaders, criminals, and lunatics are the people who hold hostages, and you don’t always know which one it is at first,” said Robert J. Louden, professor emeritus of criminal justice and homeland security at the Georgian Court University in New Jersey. . “The information you can develop about the situation allows you to best determine the type of situation you have.”
The synagogue service was being streamed live on Facebook, and for some time after it arrived the audio remained live, allowing anyone to listen in real time as Mr. Akram angrily made his requests.
At one point, apparently referring to the hostages while talking to a negotiator, Mr Akram said: “Their children are traumatized right now because you… don’t want to work with me.
After asking the hostages, one by one, how many children each had, he appeared to address the negotiator, saying, “Why are you going to leave seven children orphans?”
Around 5 p.m., a male hostage was released unharmed, while the other three were still being held, authorities said.