British hostage taker in Texas synagogue siege named
From Sky News and The Telegraph
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…. a British citizen from Blackburn. Photograph said to be of him left, shared with Sky News by a family member and tweeted by Inzamam Rashid, the North West correspondent for Sky News.
Akram’s brother Gulbar posted a statement on behalf of the family on Facebook, according to the Lancashire Telegraph, stating the family do not condone his actions and they “apologise” to the victims.
“Sitting in the incident room all last night at Greenbank until the early hours liaising with Faisal , the negotiators, FBI etc And although my brother was suffering from mental health issues we were confident that he would not harm the hostages,” he wrote. Of course he had mental health issues. De rigeure for the well-equipped jihadist, don’t you know.
“There was nothing we could have said to him or done that would have convinced him to surrender. Obviously our priority will be to get him back to the UK for his Funeral prayers although we have been warned it could take weeks.”
In a statement on Sunday, FBI special agent in charge Matthew DeSarno confirmed Akram was a British citizen and that “at this time there is no indication that other individuals are involved”.
…the hostage-taker was heard demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist suspected of having ties to al Qaeda, who was convicted of trying to kill US military officers while in custody in Afghanistan. He said he wanted to speak to Siddiqui, who is being held at FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, following her conviction in 2010.
Witnesses claim he referred to her as his sister, but John Floyd, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Siddiqui’s brother was not involved.
The motive for the attack on the synagogue, which is around 30 miles from Dallas, is still unclear, and authorities are still trying to establish any relationship between Akram and Siddiqui.
The Blackburn Muslim Community also released a statement via their Facebook page, which read: “Faisal Akram has sadly departed from this temporary world and returned to his Creator. He was the son of Mohammed Malik Akram and the brother of Gulbar, Malik, Nasar, Yassar and Late Gulzameer Akram.”
“May the Almighty forgive all his sins and bless him with the highest ranks of Paradise. May Allah give strength and patience to his loved ones in dealing with their loss. There are many stories circulating in the local community so please avoid taking part in the sin of backbiting. Let the authorities complete their investigations, have respect for the family and allow them to mourn peacefully.”
President Joe Biden branded the attack “an act of terror” adding that authorities believe he purchased weapons on arrival in Texas.
In a statement issued by the Metropolitan Police, a Counter Terrorism Policing spokesperson said: “Officers from Counter Terrorism Policing are liaising with US authorities and colleagues from the FBI regarding the incident in Texas.”