Arrests in England over Texas hostage case

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Authorities in the UK have made two arrests in connection with the search for hostage-taking to a Texas synagogue last Saturday, the police announced today. “Two men were arrested this morning in Birmingham and Manchester. “They remain in custody,” the North West England counterterrorism service said in a statement.

In the meantime it became known that the brother of the British perpetrator of his hostage asked him to surrender to the last telephone communication they had. The recorded conversation came into the possession of the Jewish Chronicle, according to the BBC, which, however, has not been able to verify its authenticity, although experts say it is accurate.

In a phone call with Malik Faisal Akram to his family in Blackburn during the hostage-taking, he told his brother that he had gone to the synagogue “to die”.

Akram, 44, was shot dead by the FBI after holding four people hostage for ten hours at the Beth Israel Synagogue in Coleville, Texas.

He entered the synagogue during the operation pretending to be homeless and then pulled out a gun. All the hostages escaped unscathed, according to international news agencies and the Athenian News Agency.

According to the recorded conversation between the two brothers, Gulbar repeatedly tried to persuade his brother to surrender, telling him that the hostages were innocent people and asking him to think about his children.

Nevertheless the perpetrator replied that he was determined to die and that he wanted to “fall as a witness”.

During their conversation, Malik Faisal succeeded against the Jews and the American military interventions in the Middle East.

At the same time, he repeatedly demanded the release of neuroscientist Afia Sindiki, who is serving an 86-year sentence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area after her conviction in 2010 for opening fire on FBI soldiers and agents in Afghanistan.

Akram was targeted in 2020 by the British Internal Intelligence Service (MI5), which then concluded that he was not a threat, according to many British media.

According to Sky News, Akram lived in Blackburn, northern England. He arrived in the United States shortly before New Year’s Eve at New York’s JFK Airport and then bought the weapon he used in the synagogue attack. He was imprisoned four times between 1996-2012, mainly for disorderly conduct, harassment and theft.

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