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British hostage taker behind Texas synagogue siege named as Malik Faisal Akram

  • Jan 17, 2022
  • Author: QT-Online
  • Number of views: 2568
  • Top News
The British man who was shot dead after taking four people hostage at a Texas synagogue has been named by the FBI as Malik Faisal Akram.
The 44-year-old from Blackburn was not living in the United States and had travelled there from the UK on 2 January.
It comes as two teenagers have been arrested in Manchester by officers from Counter Terror Policing North West as part of the investigation into the attack.
Greater Manchester Police said: "Two teenagers were detained in south Manchester this evening. They remain in custody for questioning."
The Metropolitan Police's counter-terrorism unit says it is also "liaising with US authorities and colleagues from the FBI".
Akram's family say they are "devastated" by his death, adding that they "do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologise wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident".
In a statement, Akram's brother Gulbar said family members spent hours "liaising with Faisal" during the siege, and that although he was "suffering from mental health issues we were confident that he would not harm the hostages".
"There was nothing we could have said to him or done that would have convinced him to surrender," Gulbar added. 
He said his brother suffered from severe mental health illnesses.
"He reiterated that his brother wouldn't have wanted to hurt anyone and he was extremely apologetic about the panic and terror that his brother had caused in Texas."
He said Gulbar was part of the negotiation team with the FBI speaking to his brother. He said he was "trying to get him to back down and to ensure that no harm was caused".
Akram took four people hostage, including a rabbi, inside the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville at around 11am local time on Saturday.
One was freed after six hours before an FBI SWAT team entered the building at around 9pm, shot the attacker dead and released the other three unharmed.
The rabbi held hostage in the attack, Charlie Cytron-Walker, has said Akram became "increasingly belligerent and threatening" during the standoff.
Cytron-Walker credited security training his congregation had received over the years for keeping the hostages safe.
Without that training "we would not have been prepared to act and flee when the situation presented itself", he said.
The first part of the siege was captured on a Facebook livestream of the morning shabbat, which was cut off at about 2pm.