FBI Identifies Hostage-Taker From Texas Synagogue Standoff As British National

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The FBI has recognized the person who held members of a North Texas synagogue hostage for almost a dozen hours over the weekend as a 44-year-old British nationwide.

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In an announcement launched on Sunday, FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno confirmed that Malik Faisal Akram is the particular person who took 4 individuals hostage a day earlier throughout a service at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. There is presently no indication that different people had been concerned, in response to the agent, who has not but introduced a potential motive.

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DeSarno stated the FBI’s Evidence Response Team “will continue processing evidence at the synagogue,” whereas the company’s North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force retains following investigative leads. An FBI Shooting Incident Review Team will “conduct a thorough, factual, and objective investigation of the events.”

Akram was killed in a “shooting incident” when an FBI SWAT staff entered the synagogue, ending the hours-long tense standoff that was initially being recorded as a result of service streaming stay on Facebook. One of the hostages was initially launched, and three others obtained out after regulation enforcement stormed the constructing. On Saturday evening, the FBI and Colleyville police spokespeople declined to reply questions on who shot Akram when the standoff ended. All hostages are secure.

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Akram is initially from the Blackburn space of Lancashire within the United Kingdom. Counterterrorism officers within the U.Ok. advised the Lancashire Telegraph that the company is aiding authorities within the U.S. with the investigation and that police within the area “will continue to liaise with their local communities, including the Jewish community, and will put in place any necessary measures to provide reassurance to them.”

Akram’s brother, Gulbar, in a publish that seems it has since been taken down from the “Blackburn Muslim Community” Facebook web page, confirmed his brother died in Texas and stated that “we are absolutely devastated as a family.”

“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,” he wrote. “Sitting in the incident room all last night at Greenbank until the early hours liaising with Faisal, the negotiators, FBI etc and although my brother was suffering from mental health issues we were confident that he would not harm the hostages.”

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16 in Colleyville, Texas. The FBI identified the man who held members of the synagogue hostage over the weekend as a 44-year-old British national.
A regulation enforcement automobile sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16 in Colleyville, Texas. The FBI recognized the person who held members of the synagogue hostage over the weekend as a 44-year-old British nationwide.

Brandon Bell through Getty Images

While media has reported that the three different hostages had been rescued by regulation enforcement, Akram’s brother claims Akram launched them himself by means of the constructing’s hearth exit. A couple of minutes later, gunfire ensued and Akram was fatally shot, he stated.

“There was nothing we could have said to him or done that would have convinced him to surrender,” the brother stated, including that FBI brokers are anticipated to quickly fly into the U.Ok. “so we don’t have much else to share at the moment.”

“Obviously, our priority will be to get him back to the UK for his funeral prayers although we have been warned it could take weeks,” he wrote. “We would also like to add that any attack on any human being be it a Jew, Christian or Muslim is wrong and should always be condemned. It is absolutely inexcusable for a Muslim to attack a Jew or for any Jew to attack a Muslim, Christian, Hindu, vice versa.”

Before the livestream was taken offline, Akram might be heard ranting incoherently and demanding the discharge of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who was sentenced in 2010 to 86 years in jail on prices she assaulted and shot at U.S. troopers in Afghanistan who detained her two years earlier. She is presently incarcerated at a facility near Fort Worth.

Several reviews stated Akram was heard referring to Siddiqui as his “sister,” nonetheless the board chair for the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Houston chapter stated that his authorized shopper — Siddqui’s brother, Mohammad Siddiqui — was not concerned.

Pakistani protesters from the hard-line Sunni group Pasban hold portraits of Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui during a demonstration marking International Women's Day on March 8, 2011. Siddiqui was sentenced to 86 years in jail by a U.S. court who found her guilty of the attempted murder of U.S. military officers in Afghanistan in 2008.
Pakistani protesters from the hard-line Sunni group Pasban maintain portraits of Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui throughout an illustration marking International Women’s Day on March 8, 2011. Siddiqui was sentenced to 86 years in jail by a U.S. courtroom who discovered her responsible of the tried homicide of U.S. army officers in Afghanistan in 2008.

Rizwan Tabassum/AFP through Getty Images

“This antisemitic attack against a house of worship is unacceptable,” board chair John Floyd stated, condemning the hostage incident as “wicked” and saying the suspect “has nothing to do with Dr. Aafia, her family, or the global campaign to get justice for Dr. Aafia.”

Siddiqui’s incarceration has sparked outrage amongst political leaders and supporters in Pakistan, in addition to human rights activists and teams like CAIR, who say she has fallen sufferer to the American felony justice system by being falsely accused by the U.S. authorities. They additionally declare she has been attacked by different inmates, together with allegedly getting a mug of sizzling liquid smashed onto her face.

Terrorist teams have additionally demanded the U.S. launch Siddiqui, who throughout her trial instructed that anybody with “a Zionist or Israeli background” be excluded from the jury pool and that potential jurors be “subject to genetic testing.”

“This was an act of terror,” President Joe Biden advised reporters on Sunday whereas in Philadelphia. The president additionally thanked regulation enforcement for his or her work on ensuring Saturday’s hostages had been safely launched. “I don’t have all the facts and neither does the attorney general, but allegedly the assertion was [Akram] got the weapons on the street, that he purchased them when he landed. And it turns out there were apparently no bombs that we know of, even though he said that there were bombs there as well.”

While DeSarno stated Saturday that Akram was “singularly focused on one issue, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community,” Biden maintained that he advised Attorney General Merrick Garland “to make sure we got the word out to synagogues and places of worship that we’re not going to tolerate this, that we have the capacity to deal with the assaults on — particularly the anti-Semitism that has grown up.”

The president stated he deliberate to name Congregation Beth Israel Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who was among the many 4 hostages. Cytron-Walker launched an announcement on Sunday saying that he’s “grateful to be alive.”

“I am thankful and filled with appreciation for all of the vigils and prayers and love and support, all of the law enforcement and first responders who cared for us, all of the security training that helped save us,” he posted on Facebook. “I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for the CBI Community, the Jewish Community, the Human Community. I am grateful that we made it out. I am grateful to be alive.”


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