British Police Arrest Two Men in Texas Synagogue Attack Investigation

The hostage-taker was known to British intelligence and assessed to no longer be a threat at the time he travelled to the United States, according to the BBC

Reuters
Reuters
A street in Blackburn, England, said to be the hometown of captor Malik Faisal Akram.
A street in Blackburn, England, said to be the hometown of captor Malik Faisal Akram.Credit: PAUL ELLIS - AFP
Reuters
Reuters

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.

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.

This Jan. 2, 2022 photo shows Malik Faisal Akram at a Dallas homeless shelter.Credit: /AP

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.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

$1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

Rep. Henry Cuellar attends a campaign event on Wednesday, in San Antonio, Texas.

AIPAC-backed Dem Declares Victory Against Progressive Challenger in Texas Runoff

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Mohammad Eslami at an event for Nuclear Technology Day in Tehran, last month.

Prospects for Reviving Iran Nuclear Deal 'Tenuous' at Best, U.S. Envoy Says

A family grieves outside the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Wednesday.

Israeli PM Offers Condolences After Texas Gunman Kills 21 at Elementary School

U.S. President Joe Biden, this week.

Biden Decides to Keep Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Terror List, Says Report

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

Progressive Jews Urge ADL Chief to Apologize for Calling Out Democratic Activist

Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders with Jessica Cisneros in San Antonio last week.

It’s AIPAC vs. Bernie Sanders in Too-close-to-call Texas Democratic Runoff