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After the Texas synagogue hostage situation, what should you do if your house of worship is attacked?

EL PASO, Texas – A note sent to law enforcement by the FBI And Department of Homeland Security says faith based communities will "likely" be the target of violence by both domestic violent extremists and those inspired by foreign terrorists.

The note, obtained by ABC news, asks law enforcement partners to "maintain strong operational security and situational awareness on events that could be exploited by violent extremists."

This comes as new details emerge from the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, near Fort Worth, where a hostage situation took place over the weekend.

The letter indicates there are no additional specific or credible threats associated with this weekend's attack.

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker was said to have thrown a chair at the attacker and then aided the hostages to safety.

ABC-7 spoke with Pastor Elvin Porflit with First Baptist Church to find out what they have planned in case of a dangerous situation possibly involving a firearm.

Elvin told ABC-7 that they try to keep the threat from coming inside by being aware of their surroundings at all times.

He had advice for other places of worship saying, “I would strongly encourage churches to contact their law enforcement you know people close to them and be able to get trained, implement a plan within the resources they have.  Every building is different so knowing how to secure the entrances I think is so important.”

Owner of CSP Protective Services Tom Buchino talked about the rings of security that should be in place for churches.

The inner ring consisting of the clergy, the middle ring is the congregation and the outer ring is facility's perimeter.

"Violation of any of those concentric rings of security could cause a possible lack of your security posture. We implement plans and protocols to protect all three of those rings," said Buchino.

The FBI and DHS letter to law enforcement offered additional resources to protect and mitigate attacks against houses of worship at Faith Based Organizations - Houses of Worship.

Wil Herren

Wil Herren is an ABC-7 reporter who covers both news and sports.

Comments

38 Comments

  1. Don’t go into any establishment with a No Firearms sign. I’ve convinced my Dr. to take those signs off his door. I explained to him that if you give a patient BAD news there is the chance they might be unhappy enough to take you or the people in your office with them. He agreed and the signs came down.

  2. If churches or temples haven’t learned since the infamous Texas Sutherland Springs church shooting back in 2017 on what to do for security then that’s a serious issue. They will be a day late and a dollar short. In this case a good guy (police) with a gun stopped a bad guy with a gun.

  3. Chuckles the criminal: Get help your infatuation seems to be getting worse, you are the most misguided creep on these posts. Your TDS seems to make you a little more dangerous everyday, really get over it, creep. Again I’m not a fan of the man you just can’t let go of. You poor soul we feel sorry for you

  4. 1. If your place of worship can not afford security, see of anyone there is former law enforcement.
    2. Allow members of your congregation to be armed.
    3. Post armed members inside and out in overwatch positions.

      1. Of course nitwit since you are an atheist. You do know teachers pack heat in many school districts in Texas. And they have a good guy with a gun called school resource officer. See you are an idiot.

  5. Wow, NO ONE WAS KILLED!  Right?  Yet, In EL Paso, some racists moron killed over 23 people, and it was a HATE CRIME!  and the media forgot about us after 48 hours!   And the killer is enjoying his life, where is the JUSTICE here???

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