UK counter-terrorism police help FBI after British hostage taker shoots synagogue


Counter-terrorism officers from K are working with US authorities after a British hostage-taker was shot and killed following an hours-long confrontation at a synagogue.

The man was identified by the FBI as 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram.

He was killed in a “shooting incident” after the FBI entered the Congregation Beth Israel building in Colleyville, Texas on Saturday.

The four hostages are safe and sound.

During the incident – which saw police first call at 11 a.m. and ended with the last hostages being freed around 9 p.m. – the man could be heard ranting on a stream live with what sounded like a British accent.

On Sunday, the Foreign Office confirmed he was British and the Metropolitan Police said counter-terrorism officers were in contact with US authorities and FBI colleagues.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss condemned “the act of terrorism and anti-Semitism”, while British Ambassador to the United States Karen Pierce said the British authorities gave “full support to the forces of the ‘order of Texas and the United States’.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Matt DeSarno spoke to the media after the incident (Smiley N. Pool/PA) / PA

The man is said to have demanded the release of a Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted of attempting to kill US army officers in Afghanistan.

Speaking to reporters after the incident, FBI Special Agent in Charge Matt DeSarno said they believed the man was “singularly focused on one issue and not specifically related to the Jewish community”, and added that they would continue to “work to find a motive”. .

Confirming the hostage taker was dead, he said there would be “an independent investigation into the shooting incident”.

A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: ‘We are aware of the death of a Briton in Texas and are in contact with local authorities.

One hostage who had been held was freed during the clash and the other three walked out when an FBI Swat team entered the building, US authorities said.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that officers from the Counter Terrorism Police “are in contact with US authorities and colleagues from the FBI” regarding the incident.

Ms Truss tweeted: “My thoughts are with the Jewish community and everyone affected by this appalling act in Texas. We condemn this act of terrorism and anti-Semitism.

“We stand with the United States in defending the rights and freedoms of our citizens against those who spread hatred.”

Ms Pierce said: “The UK and the US stand side by side in challenging terrorism and in defending the fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens.”

Earlier, US law enforcement officials said the man had demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist suspected of having ties to al-Qaeda, who is in prison in Texas.

Officials revealed that he said he wanted to be able to talk to her.

While a number of people reportedly heard the hostage taker refer to Siddiqui as his “sister” on the livestream, his brother was reportedly not involved.

John Floyd, chairman of the board of directors of the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and longtime legal adviser to Siddiqui’s brother, said his client was not the person responsible for the “heinous” incident. “.

Mr Floyd condemned what happened as “nasty” and said the person involved “has nothing to do with Dr Aafia, his family or the global campaign to get justice for Dr Aafia”.


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