Texas synagogue gunman was identified to British intelligence: Report

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MI5 investigated Malik Faisal Akram in 2020 however he was now not thought of a danger on the time of the assault, BBC says.

The suspected gunman who took 4 folks hostage at a Texas synagogue was identified to the United Kingdom’s home intelligence service, the BBC has reported.

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Frank Gardner, the British broadcaster’s safety correspondent, stated on Tuesday that MI5 was conscious of Malik Faisal Akram, who they reportedly investigated in 2020 as a “subject of interest”.

At the time Akram flew to the United States, he was now not thought of a danger, Gardner stated in a tweet.

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Akram, a 44-year-old British nationwide from Blackburn, a northern English city, was shot lifeless on Saturday after an hours-long standoff with police on the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue, near Fort Worth.

Authorities have declined to say who shot him, saying the case was nonetheless below investigation. They haven’t stated how or when Akram entered the US, however reviews citing unnamed police sources recommend he arrived within the nation by way of New York’s JFK International Airport about two weeks in the past.

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The 4 folks he’s alleged to have held hostage had been ultimately freed, unhurt, after the ordeal that began after 11am (17:00 GMT) native time and concluded at about 9pm (03:00 GMT).

The FBI has launched an investigation.

US President Joe Biden, who labelled the assault an “act of terror”, stated Akram was believed to have purchased the weapons used within the incident “on the street” after arriving from the UK.

British police stated “counterterrorism” officers had arrested two youngsters on Sunday in reference to the case, although no costs towards the pair have been introduced but.

‘There was nothing we could have done’

On Sunday, Akram’s brother Gulbar stated his sibling was mentally unwell.

During the standoff, Akram’s family had been at Blackburn police station liaising with Faisal, the negotiators, and the FBI.

“There was nothing we could have said to him or done that would have convinced him to surrender,” Gulbar wrote on the Blackburn Muslim Community’s Facebook web page.

Video of Saturday’s incident, by native TV station WFAA, confirmed folks working out a door of the synagogue. A person holding a gun was seen opening the identical door. Seconds later, he circled and closed it.

Then a number of pictures and and an explosion had been heard.

During negotiations, Akram spoke repeatedly a few Pakistani neuroscientist who’s serving an 86-year jail sentence at a facility in Fort Worth, authorities stated.

Akram may very well be heard ranting on a Facebook livestream throughout the incident, demanding the discharge of Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted of making an attempt to kill US Army officers in Afghanistan.

Her punishment has fuelled outrage in Pakistan amongst political leaders and supporters, who view her as victimised by the American prison justice system.

Siddiqui’s lawyer stated on Saturday that she had no involvement within the hostage state of affairs.

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