The British synagogue hostage-taker has been identified as British national 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram. Akram held four people hostage in a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. While all four hostages survived, Akram was shot dead by the F.B.I. after the hostages were released.
Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker reported that Akram’s behavior escalated within the final hour during the incident. Akram reportedly was wielding a gun during the incident. (New York Times)
Akram reportedly flew into New York’s J.F.K. airport a few weeks ago. He was not on any watchlist in the United States or the United Kingdom.
According to reports, Akram slept at the Union Gospel Mission homeless shelter in Dallas, Texas, and left the shelter a couple of days before the incident. (CNN)
Akram was raised in Blackburn, England, with his five brothers. Akram’s family described him as a troubled man with mental health issues. Akram’s brother reportedly spoke to his brother over the phone during the hostage incident. His brother shared that Akram called the hostages “four beautiful Jews. ” According to his brother, he did not believe that Akram was anti-semitic or racist. (New York Times)
According to the New York Times, two teenagers in Manchester have been arrested due to the Texas synagogue incident; however, they have since been released.
Counterterrorism operations commenced after the incident, and a North Manchester home was searched. Currently, the F.B.I. is investigating how Akram gained access to a gun.