Yes, he was focused on the release of Aafia Siddiqui, the Al Qaeda terrorist that is also a favorite cause of CAIR, Linda Sarsour and other Islamist sympathizers. But then the question is obvious: why attack a synagogue and take Jews hostage?
The answer is just as obvious if you know anything about Muslim antisemitism: Because they, like the Nazis and countless antisemites before them, believe that Jews run the world - and especially America.
Aafia Siddiqui's arrest and sentencing had nothing to do with Jews. but she was convinced that Jews and Israel were responsible for her capture and imprisonment.
Where did she get that idea? From their leaders!
Osama Bin Laden said in a well-circulated video only months before 9/11, “Jews are free in al-Quds to rape Muslim women and to imprison the young cubs who stand up to them. The blood of Muslims is the cheapest of all blood!...We speak of an American government, but it is in reality an Israeli government, because if we look at the most sensitive departments of the government, whether it is the Pentagon or the State Department or the CIA, you find that it is the Jews who have first word in the American government.”
America is a target because it is controlled by Jews. As Deborah Scroggins writes in her book about Siddiqui and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, conspiracy theories about Jews controlling the US government are "literally talk show staples" in Pakistan.
They are staples in Arab and all other Muslim media as well.
For such a mentality, it makes perfect sense that Jews should be the target - they are responsible for the actions of the US government! If you don't hate Jews enough because of Israel, you should hate them because of what the US does.
The terrorist even demanded that the Texas rabbi call another rabbi in New York to relay his demands to release Siddiqui. After all, who can be more powerful and influential toi release a federal inmate than a New York rabbi?
Antisemitism and anti-Americanism are tightly bound. From the Right that claims to be patriotic, but that their America has been corrupted by Jews, to Arabs and Muslims who believe that America is controlled by Jews, to the far Left whose hate for Israel and for America are entwined, to Iran where America and Israel share the "satan" appellation, if someone is anti-American, chances are extraordinarily high that they have a problem with Jews (or "Zionists" who have the identical demonlike stranglehold on American policy.)
Attacks on synagogues are attacks on America, and attacks on America are often attacks on Jews. There is essentially no difference.
I don't have a solution but one must at least understand the problem.