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Texas Synagogue Hostage Suspect Identified

The British national who died at the scene after taking hostages at a synagogue in Texas was identified Sunday by the FBI.

Malik Faisal Akram, 44, was identified as the “hostage taker” at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. This has been confirmed by Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno with the FBI Dallas Field Office.

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In a statement, FBI Dallas said “The FBI’s Evidence Response Team (ERT) will continue processing evidence at the synagogue. At this time, there is no indication that other individuals are involved”.

“The FBI’s North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force (NTJTTF), which includes member agencies from across the region, will continue to follow investigative leads,” the statement read. “An FBI Shooting Incident Review Team (SIRT) will conduct a thorough, factual, and objective investigation of the events”.

Those with information related to the crisis were encouraged to use ips.fbi.gov or call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

“This was an act of terror,” President Biden said. He told reporters Sunday that the suspect had been arrested 15 years ago and jailed for 10 years. He also said he would speak with the rabbi on how the Biden Administration can help houses of worship with “the antisemitism that’s ramping up”.

The U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office confirmed that the suspect was a British man. Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Dominic Scally said Akram was from the ”Blackburn area of Lancashire”.

The crisis ended Saturday night with Akram’s death and the hostages remained safe. Fox News reported that Akram had allegedly “demanded the release of a Pakistani woman who is imprisoned nearby on charges of trying to kill American service members in Afghanistan”.

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The woman, Aafia Siddiqui, is serving an 86-year prison sentence after being convicted in Manhattan in 2010. She was previously described as an “al-Qaida operative and facilitator”.

After being detained by authorities in Afghanistan in 2008, Siddiqui was put in an interview room at a police compound where she used the M4 rifle of a U.S. Army officer and shot members of the U.S. team. She is currently being held at a federal prison in Fort Worth.

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