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Sen. Ted Cruz meets with local Jewish leaders in Colleyville nearly two weeks after hostage situation

“When that attack was ongoing, the eyes of Texas, the eyes of the entire country, the eyes of the world were on North Texas,” Cruz said.

COLLEYVILLE, Texas — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) held a listening session in Colleyville Friday, nearly two weeks after the hostage situation at Beth Israel synagogue. Cruz met with local leaders and leaders from the North Texas Jewish community at Colleyville City Hall.

“When that attack was ongoing, the eyes of Texas, the eyes of the entire country, the eyes of the world were on North Texas,” Cruz said. “There was incredible calm in the face of enormous pressure.”

Now, Cruz says he is working to get answers about what led up to the attack. Cruz wants answers about how the gunman entered the U.S.

“There are very serious questions about did the system fail in allowing him to come from the United Kingdom to the United States, what indications were there of criminal activity, of radicalization,” Cruz said. “Those are questions that I’m asking the Department of Justice, I’m asking the FBI, I’m asking the Department of Homeland Security, what could have we done differently to prevent this terrorist from coming to the United States.”

Rep. Beth Van Duyne spoke of the hostage situation on this Sunday’s edition of Inside Texas Politics.

“It’s been two weeks now and it seems to have gone away,” Van Duyne said. “I want to know what’s going on. Did that person have any other ties to the district, to the state and the country? Were other people in outside countries, including south Manchester in England where those two teens were arrested as part of this plot. What is happening and how are we preventing this from happening in the future?”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, there were more than 2,000 antisemitic incidents in 2020, the third highest yearly total on record.

Cruz said right now there are federal funds available to make synagogues and houses of worship safer, but he thinks more investments are necessary.

“I intend to work to increase the funding that is available so that more houses of worship are able to receive grants to harden and strengthen their facilities,” Cruz said. “I wish we lived in a world where a house of worship didn’t need to worry about an act of violence, an act of terrorism.”

He says it’s still hard to believe it happened in North Texas.

“It’s one thing to see an act of terror that is on the other side of the world, that is in the middle east, where unfortunately we’ve seen far too many acts of terror. It’s another thing to see it in Tarrant County,” Cruz said.