Malik Faisal Akram British citizen id as Texas synagogue hostage taker suspect at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville. Unanswered questions.
An armed man who took four people hostage, including a rabbi, for nearly 12 hours at a Texas synagogue before being shot dead by FBI swat teams has been identified as a British national.
Malik Faisal Akram, 44 was shot dead by the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team after holding four hostages for more than 10 hours at Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas on Saturday.
Akram claimed he was armed with weapons when he took four people hostage during Saturday morning services at the synagogue. One was freed after six hours before an FBI SWAT team almost 11 hours into the standoff entered the building at around 9pm, shot th the hostage taker dead and released the other three unharmed.
Akram reportedly said he took the people hostage to demand the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist serving an 86-year sentence for the attempted murder of U.S. soldiers in 2010. Siddiqui is being held at a prison near Fort Worth, Texas.
It remained unclear what connection, if any, Akram had with the previously convicted terrorist.
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During the standoff, witnesses said Akram referred to her as his sister, but John Floyd, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Siddiqui’s brother was not involved.
It remained unclear why Akram targeted the synagogue during his quest to have the woman released.
In a Sunday morning post, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who was one of the four hostages released a statement on Facebook thanking law enforcement and first-responders. ‘I am grateful we made it out. I am grateful to be alive.’
Akram was from Blackburn, north of Manchester. Of note, was not living in the United States but had recently travelled there skynews reported. It remained unclear how the man was able to acquire the cache of arms and bombs (if such existed) that he had purported to have installed during Saturday’s standoff.
The Blackburn Muslim Community released a statement on Facebook, saying that he was the son of Mohammed Malik Akram and had four brothers, including one who passed away in October.
The community shared a statement by Akram’s brother, Gulbar, as well.
‘We are absolutely devastated as a family,’ wrote Gulbar. ‘We can’t say much now as their is an ongoing FBI investigation. We would like to say that we as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident.’
How does a dangerous British person is able to come here and buy weapons to try to kill people?
So many questions remain unanswered.
FBI Identifies Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British Citizen, as Man Who Held Texas Synagogue Members Hostagehttps://t.co/YRa16PnPyW
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Gulbar also stated the family was aware of Akram’s involvement during the crisis. The relative stated that Akram was suffering from mental health issues and claimed that the hostages had been released and not rescued by police. He added that there was nothing the family could have said to him or done that would have convinced him to surrender.
‘We would also like to add that any attack on any human being be it a Jew, Christian or Muslim etc. is wrong and should always be condemned,’ added Gulbar. ‘It is absolutely inexcusable for a Muslim to attack a Jew or for any Jew to attack a Muslim, Christian, Hindu vice versa etc. etc.’
Gulbar asked that the family be granted some privacy while it grieves.
The UK‘s Metropolitan Police‘s counter-terrorism unit is ‘liaising with US authorities and colleagues from the FBI’, which has said there is no indication there were any other individuals were involved in the hostage standoff.
Colleyville, is a community of about 26,000 people, is about 15 miles (23 kilometers) northeast of Fort Worth.