British police say they have arrested 2 people in Texas hostage stand-off

Jan 20, 2022: According to a report by the AP, British police say they have arrested two people in connection with the abduction of a Texas synagogue.

Counterterrorism Police North West said one man was arrested Thursday in central England’s Birmingham and another in the northern English city of Manchester. He is being held for questioning and has not yet been charged.

Police said that they continue to help US officials in the investigation of hostages on Saturday.

Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British man, took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue during a 10-hour standoff that ended in his death. No damage to four hostages. Police did not provide details about the two men arrested Thursday. On Sunday, police arrested British youths in Manchester as part of an investigation. Later they were released without any charge.

In a telephone call between Akram and his brother Gulbar during the siege, the attacker said he intended to die in the incident. The audio of the 11-minute call was obtained by the Jewish Chronicle through a “security source”, the news outlet said. Gulbar was speaking from a police station in Blackburn.

Hostage taker Akram was from Blackburn, an industrial city in northwest England. His family said he had been “suffering from mental health issues”.

Akram entered the US on a tourist visa about two weeks ago and spent time in the Dallas homeless shelters before the attack on the Congregational House of Israel on the outskirts of Coleville. The FBI has described the incident as a “terrorism case” targeting the Jewish community.

British media, including the Guardian and the BBC, reported that Akram’s domestic intelligence service, MI5, had investigated him in 2020 as a possible “terrorist threat”, but authorities concluded that he was not a threat and the investigation was closed.

In a statement on Tuesday, the White House said that Akram had been checked against US law enforcement databases before entering the country but raised no red flags.

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