U.S. authorities have launched an “international” investigation into a British man who held four people hostage in a Texas synagogue on Saturday before he was killed, a “terrorist act” denounced by US President Joe Biden and Britain.
Biden confirmed that the perpetrator, who was identified by the FBI as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram, “insisted on the release of someone who has been in prison for ten years.”
According to several US media outlets, Akram has demanded the release of Pakistan-born neuroscientist Afia Sindiki, who is serving an 86-year prison sentence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area after being sentenced in 2010 for firing on soldiers and agents.
“It was a terrorist act,” he said.
Britain also condemned, through Foreign Minister Liz Tras, “this anti-Semitic and terrorist act”, while assuring that the country “is on the side of the United States”.
“They remain in custody for questioning,” Manchester Police said in a press release on Monday.
Biden explained that the hostage-taker had bought his weapons “on the street.”
The four hostages were released from the Beth Israel Synagogue in Coleville, Texas, a city of about 23,000 people located about 40 miles from Dallas, on Saturday night after ten hours of hostage-taking.
Among them was Rabbi Charlie Sitron-Walker, who said that “the gunman became more aggressive and threatening during the last hour of hostage-taking.”
The incident ended with the intervention of the police and the death of the perpetrator, who is not yet known if he committed suicide or if he fell dead from the fire of the security forces.
The counterterrorism service of the north-west of England confirmed in a statement that Akram came from the Blackburn area in Lancashire.
On the Facebook page of the Blackburn Muslim community, a man who claimed to be the perpetrator’s brother, Gulbar, said Malik was “mentally ill” and that he had been “shot dead”.
“We would like to say that as a family we do not approve of his actions and we would sincerely wish, with all our hearts, to apologize to all the victims,” added the man, who explained that he was in contact with Faisal, the negotiators. and the FBI until dawn. ”
“We will investigate the perpetrator of the hostage-taking and his contacts” during the “international investigation” that will be carried out, said Matt DeSamo, an FBI special agent.
In a statement issued overnight Sunday through Monday, US federal police said the target of the attack was the Jewish community. “This is a terrorism-related case targeting the Jewish community and being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force,” the FBI said in a statement.
“I will die”
At the time the perpetrator invaded the synagogue, the operation was broadcast live on Facebook.
“There is something wrong with America,” he said.
Cindy is currently being held in a Fort Worth Hospital near Dallas. She was the first woman in the United States to be accused of having links to al-Qaeda and has been nicknamed “Mrs. Al Qaeda”.
“She is not involved in any way” in the hostage-taking, her lawyer told CNN, adding that the hostage-taker was not his client’s brother.
Source From: Capital