New details about hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram in Texas Synagogue and possible accomplices attested in England – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

COLLEYVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – January 16th The FBI Dallas Field Office identified the man shot and killed after taking four people hostage at a Colleyville synagogue as Malik Faisal Akram of Blackburn, England.

A day later, CBS News confirmed more information about Akram and the two teenagers arrested in Manchester, England, who are believed to be connected to the case.

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According to a law enforcement source, Akram flew to JFK Airport in New York a few days before New Year – possibly on December 29th. He is believed to have spent several days in the New York area, where he stayed at a cheap hotel before flying to North Texas.

Once in Meteroplex, officials say Akram lived in a hotel and then a homeless shelter. At one point, he apparently bought ‘on the street’ or got a gun that was loaded.

When Akram went to the Beth Israel Congregation in Colleyville, he is said to have looked ‘displaced’, and he was welcomed into the synagogue after telling them he was homeless. Once inside, he took four people hostage and held them inside the temple for more than 10 hours.

A law enforcement vehicle is sitting near the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue on January 16, 2022 in Colleyville, Texas. (Credit: Brandon Bell / Getty Images)

When a SWAT team negotiated with Akram, even putting him in touch with his family on the other side of the ocean, the 44-year-old suspect allegedly began demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani-born scientist behind bars in a federal prison in DFW. The neuroscientist is suspected of having links to al-Qaeda and was convicted of attempting to kill US army officers in Afghanistan.

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Investigators confirmed Monday that they were in contact with Siddiqui as they tried to find out what connection, if any, she had to Akram. Officials say it is unclear if the suspect knew her or was just inspired by her after reading information online. During a live-livestream of Sabbath worship services in Beth Israel, one could hear Akram demand the release of Siddiqui.

CBS sources say Akram became more unstable and agitated as failed negotiations continued. It was then that it was decided that the rescue team should break up the building and try to save the hostages.

During an interview on CBS Mornings, Beth Israel rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker told how he and the others inside tried to keep Akram busy, but when the gunman told them they were going to their knees, he knew it was time to try to escape.

The rabbi and another man held hostage shouted at everyone to run, and Cytron-Walker said he was doing what he could to stop Akram. “I asked them to go. I threw a chair at the gunman and I went to the door. And all three of us were able to get out without a shot being fired.” The first hostage had been released earlier in the afternoon.

Akram was shot and killed when federal agents stormed the temple.

Later Sunday in England, Greater Manchester Police confirmed the arrest of two teenagers in connection with the North Texas standoff. CBS News has learned that these boys are Akram’s sons and that he had been in contact with them the day of the hostage siege. On Monday, investigators were still working to find out what the boys knew about something about their father and the hostage situation.

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The FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force is handling the case. FBI legal liaison agents affiliated with London are actively working with British officials on the investigation.


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