Malik Faisal Akram, 44, a British national from Pakistan, was identified by the FBI on Sunday as the person who held four people hostage inside a Texas synagogue during a 10-hour standoff on Saturday before a rescue squad entered the building and killed the suspect.
At first, four persons were kidnapped, including Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker. Colleyville Police Sergeant Dara Nelson said one male hostage was released uninjured at 5 p.m. All of the hostages held in Beth Israel Church were released safely.
At roughly 11 a.m. Saturday, Colleyville Sheriff Michael Miller said the resolution came around 10 hours after Akram entered the synagogue while the Sabbath morning service was streaming on Facebook and Zoom.
The hostage-taker was slain, according to FBI Special Agent Matt DeSarno. FBI and police spokespeople declined to answer inquiries regarding who shot the man.
According to the FBI in Dallas, there is no evidence that others are engaged. Additionally, according to police officials, no explosives were discovered on the attacker’s body.
After the hostage situation concluded, President Joe Biden issued an introductory statement thanking police, “There is more we will learn in the days ahead about the motivations of the hostage-taker. But let me be clear to anyone who intends to spread hate—we will stand against anti-Semitism and the rise of extremism in this country,” Biden added.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called it an “act of terrorism and anti-Semitism. We stand with the U.S. in defending the rights and freedoms of our citizens against those who spread hate.”
Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, in a statement to CNN, called the encounter a “traumatic experience.” However, he and the other hostages are still alive today, he claims, because of the numerous security measures his congregation has put in place over the years.
Cytron-Walker said, “Without the instruction we received, we would not have been prepared to act and flee when the situation presented itself. I encourage all Jewish congregations, religious groups, schools, and others to participate in active-shooter and security courses.”
According to counter-terrorism authorities in the United Kingdom, Malik Faisal Akram was of Lancashire heritage from Blackburn.
According to a law enforcement source involved with the case, Akram landed at JFK Airport in New York in the United States around five weeks ago.
According to law enforcement authorities, Akram is not on the U.S. government’s no-fly list. Moreover, according to the insider, an evaluation of a U.S. intelligence community database containing terrorism-related threat information has discovered no offensive information concerning Akram so far.
Investigators believe Akram was driven by a desire to liberate Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year term in a Texas prison, two law enforcement sources told CNN Saturday. She was convicted in 2010 of seven counts in Afghanistan, including attempted murder and armed attack against U.S. officers.
Based on chats with the suspect and audio recorded on the synagogue’s live stream, they believe Akram wanted Siddiqui released.
On Saturday, Siddiqui’s lawyer stated she was “she has absolutely no involvement with” the hostage-taking at the synagogue and that the gunman was not Siddiqui’s brother.
“She does not want any violence perpetrated against any human being, especially in her name,” Marwa Elbially told CNN over the phone. “It obviously has nothing to do with Dr. Siddiqui or her family.”
According to CBS sources, detectives who “assessed” the individual during the hostage crisis based on their conversation with him thought he was “emotionally unstable.”
Malik Faisal Akram’s brother published a statement apologizing to the victims and claiming he had “mental health issues.”
During the impasse, negotiators spent hours talking to the assailant.