British police on Thursday arrested two suspects as part of an investigation into a hostage crisis at a Texas synagogue that put Jewish communities on high-alert across the United States.
"Two men have been arrested this morning in Birmingham and Manchester," counterterrorism police said.
The daylong standoff at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, about 16 miles northeast of Fort Worth, Texas, ended in gunfire on Saturday night with all four hostages released unharmed and the death of the suspect.
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The 44-year-old captor who took four congregants hostage was known to British intelligence and assessed to no longer be a threat at the time he travelled to the United States, the BBC reported.
"Malik Faisal Akram, the Texas synagogue hostage-taker, was known to MI5 and was investigated in 2020. He was assessed to be no longer a risk at the time he flew to U.S. at New Year," Frank Gardner, BBC Security Correspondent, said in a tweet.
Akram, initially misidentified by many U.S. media outlets as Muhammad Siddiqui, entered the Beth Israel synagogue shortly before 11 A.M., during the Sabbath service last week.
The man was reportedly holding the congregants in a bid to secure the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving a prison sentence until 2083 for attempted murder charges.
Currently held at the Federal Medical Center in Carswell, Texas, Siddiqui has been dubbed "Lady Al-Qaida" for shooting at American soldiers and FBI agents while in custody in Afghanistan in 2010.
Congregation Beth Israel is a Reform synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, minutes outside Fort Worth. The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area holds one of Texas' largest and oldest Jewish communities, dating back to the 19th century.