Two teens arrested in the UK for alleged connection to Texas synagogue hostage crisis

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COLLEYVILLE, TX – Police in England have announced that they have taken two teenagers into custody for questioning after United States Police determine the person responsible for the synagogue attack in Texas on January 15th was a British National.

According to the FBI, 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram was the person who stormed a Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, and took four people, including a rabbi, hostage for several hours.

Several hours after Akram’s death, British Police reported they have taken two teenagers into custody for questioning in relation to the hostage situation.

Greater Manchester Police announced the arrest of the two teenagers, however, they have declined to say if either of them will face any criminal charges in the attack in the U.S.

Additionally, they have not identified the two teens they took into custody nor said how they may be related to the investigation.

While we do not know why the two teenagers are being questioned, we are starting to learn a clearer picture of Akram and the hostage situation that unfolded in Colleyville.

Federal authorities have reported that Akram arrived in the United States through the JFK Airport roughly at the beginning of the year.

Akram made his way to Texas where he allegedly purchased a handgun on the streets before he walked into the synagogue.

Akram had allegedly been allowed to enter the Jewish place of worship after he presented himself as a homeless man to the rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker.

While Akram held the four people, hostage, he made demanded from law enforcement officials that Aafia Siddiqui be released from prison.

Siddiqui has been convicted of attempting to kill United States soldiers in Afghanistan and sentenced to over 80 years in prison.

The four hostages that were taken during the standoff either were released or escaped during the eleven-hour ordeal. After the hostages were safe, federal authorities stormed the synagogue, and Akram was killed.

According to CNN, there was a live stream being done on Facebook at the time that Akram stormed the synagogue and took the hostages. A portion of the live stream was aired in which Akram can be heard talking about the situation and dying. He is heard saying:

“I’ve got these four guys with me, yeah? So I don’t want to hurt them, yeah? OK, are you listening? I don’t want you to cry.

“Listen! I’m going to release these four guys once [inaudible] but then I’m going to go in the yard, yeah? [inaudible] and they’re going to take me, alright? I’m going to die at the end of this, alright? Are you listening? I am going to die! OK? So don’t cry over me. OK? Don’t cry.”

Akram’s brother, Gulbar, took to Facebook to issue an apology on behalf of the family. In the now-deleted post, he wrote:

“We would like to say that we as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident.”

Democratic United States President Joe Biden declared the hostage situation as an act of terror and advised the gun that Akram used was purchased illegally on the street. President Biden promised that he and federal authorities will be completely investigating the incident. He said:

“Rest assured, we are focused. The attorney general is focused and making sure that we deal with these kinds of acts.”

Officer down: Off-duty officer killed in robbery and carjacking - teen woman under arrest

Man who claims ties to al Qaeda terror suspect holding hostages at synagogue in metro Dallas

This is a breaking story from Law Enforcement Today

THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION GAINED LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

COLLEYVILLE, TX- An Islamic terrorist who is holding hostages at a synagogue in this Texas community claims to be the brother of another terrorist who is incarcerated near Fort Worth, TX., in connection with her trying to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

According to ABC News:

The suspect’s sister is a known terrorist who is incarcerated at Carswell Air Force Base near Fort Worth and he is demanding to have the sister freed, according to the source.

Law Enforcement Today has since learned that information may be incorrect, addressed below. 

According to ABC News correspondent Aaron Katersky in a tweet:

“One suspect has taken the rabbi and three others hostage at a synagogue in Colleyville, TX. The hostage-taker is claiming to be armed and says his sister is Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted in New York of trying to kill US military personnel,” Katersky said. 

 

“Hostage taker is Muhammad Siddiqui and claims to be Aafia Siddiqui’s brother. He is demanding her freedom from an 86-year prison sentence,” Katersky said in a subsequent tweet.

For some odd reason, that tweet is no longer available. Here is a screenshot of that tweet:

Man who claims ties to al Qaeda terror suspect holding hostages at synagogue in metro Dallas
Aaron Katersky, ABC News tweet which has been deleted-screenshot

The Daily Wire reports that according to Foreign Policy:

Aafia Siddiqui is “linked to al Qaeda and was convicted in 2010 of attempting to kill Americans in Afghanistan.

Siddiqui…who’s known in counterterrorism circles as ‘Lady al Qaeda’ has been linked to 9/11 ringleader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and was once on the FBI’s most-wanted terrorists list. Educated in the United States—she studied at M.I.T. and received a doctorate from Brandeis—Siddiqui was arrested in 2008 in Afghanistan carrying sodium cyanide as well as documents describing how to make chemical weapons and dirty bombs and how to weaponize Ebola.

When FBI and military officials tried to question Siddiqui, she grabbed a weapon left on the table in her interrogation room and fired upon them.”

 

Late Saturday afternoon, the Post Millennial reported that Muhammad Siddiqui issued a statement in which he claimed he is NOT the hostage taker inside the synagogue. 

Meanwhile in Texas, police in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were dispatched to the Beth Israel Synagogue in the Dallas suburb of Colleyville early Saturday afternoon.

In a tweet, the Colleyville Police Department wrote:

“We are currently conducting SWAT operations around the 6100 block of Pleasant Run Rd. All residents in the immediate area are being evacuated. Please avoid the area.”

 

A subsequent tweet at 3:20 PM said:

“UPDATE 1/15/22, 3:20 PM The situation at the 6100 block of Pleasant Run Road posted about earlier remains ongoing. We ask that you continue to avoid the area. We will continue to provide updates via social media.”

 

 

According to a reporter from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jessika Harkay, she tweeted out remarks attributed to the suspect, which were overheard on the synagogue’s live stream posted on Facebook prior to it being taken down ostensibly by Facebook.

“Don’t cry on the f***ing phone with me,” said someone believed to be the suspect on the livestream. “Don’t f***ing cry on me. I have 6 beautiful kids…They are hostages in the synagogue who are going to die…What are you crying for?”

“I’m going to die, are you listening?…I’m going to die doing this, alright? Are you listening? I’m going to die. Don’t cry about me. I’m going to die. Don’t cry about me. Are you listening? I am going to die.”

 

An official with the Colleyville Police Department, Sgt. Dara Nelson said that police have been in contact with the suspect and police have not yet entered the building.

“Texas Department of Public Safety officials confirmed that state troopers are helping Colleyville police at the scene, but more information was not available,” WFAA reported. “The FBI was also responding to the situation.”

The situation, occurring in a place of worship is a reminder that in 2019, then-candidate Joe Biden slammed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for signing a bill into law which permitted legal gun owners to carry firearms in places of worship, a move which Biden referred to as “irrational.”

“Dealing with firearms, it is irrational, with all due respect to the governor of Texas, irrational what they are doing,” Biden said on Sept. 2, 2019.

“On the very day you see a mass shooting…and we’re talking about loosening access to have guns, to be able to take them into places of worship, it’s just absolutely irrational. It’s totally irrational,” the Daily Wire reported Biden as saying.

Law Enforcement Today will update this story as more information becomes available. 

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