UK Officials Make 2 Arrests As Part Of North Texas Synagogue Hostage Standoff Investigation

COLLEYVILLE (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) — Ten days after the hostage situation and standoff at a North Texas synagogue, two more people in England have been arrested. The men were taken into custody for questioning this morning in Manchester.

Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British national, held four people hostage at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville in a more than 10-hour standoff with police on January 15 that ended with his death.

FBI Dallas Identifies Colleyville Synagogue Hostage Taker As Malik Faisal Akram

“As part of the local investigation, two men have been arrested this morning in Manchester. They remain in custody for questioning,” Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.

#UPDATE | Counter Terrorism Policing North West update following the events in Texas: pic.twitter.com/QDZraZWLSf

— Greater Manchester Police (@gmpolice) January 26, 2022

 

UK counterterrorism investigators have been helping US authorities look into the incident, which is being treated by the FBI as a hate crime and an act of terrorism.

Last week, two men were arrested in the English cities of Birmingham and Manchester, and were held for questioning, Greater Manchester Police said without elaborating.

Akram arrived in the US in late December via New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Akram had been known to UK security services and had been the subject of a brief investigation in 2020, a UK official said. The investigation was closed when authorities determined Akram to no longer be a threat.

Jewish Leaders Say Past Security Training Was Key During North Texas Synagogue Hostage Standoff

The FBI believes Akram was motivated in part by a desire to see the release of convicted extremist Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year federal prison sentence in Fort Worth, they’ve said. Her attorney has said she was not involved in the Colleyville standoff.

The incident has put Jewish communities across the United States on edge. Attacks on Jewish people have been on the rise, the Anti-Defamation League warns.

(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The CNN Wire & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company contributed to this report.)

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