FBI identifies British nationwide as suspect who took hostages at Colleyville, Texas, synagogue

The FBI recognized the suspect who took 4 individuals hostage Saturday at a Colleyville, Texas, synagogue as Malik Faisal Akram, 44. Authorities mentioned Saturday night time that Akram had died, whereas all 4 hostages made it out alive.

Akram was a British citizen, the FBI mentioned. He arrived to the U.S. two weeks in the past through New York Metropolis’s John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport, a federal legislation enforcement supply instructed Newsplaneta Information.

Regulation enforcement officers are at present investigating whether or not or not the suspect appeared on any terrorist screening database or watchlist. Officers are additionally assessing the suspect’s psychological well being.  

Federal legislation enforcement investigating the scene haven’t but found if any explosive materials was discovered on the suspect, a senior federal legislation enforcement supply instructed Newsplaneta Information. Federal courts don’t present a legal historical past for the suspect.   

Authorities mentioned the suspect took 4 individuals hostages throughout companies on Saturday morning, which was being broadcast on a livestream. The suspect may very well be heard ranting on the livestream, Newsplaneta Dallas-Fort Price studies.

4 hostages had been held contained in the synagogue for hours, with one male hostage being launched round 7:30 p.m. ET. Shortly after 10:30 p.m., Texas Governor Greg Abbott mentioned the remaining three hostages had been “out alive and protected.”

Police Respond To Hostage Situation At Texas Synagogue
Police automobiles stay parked at Good Shepherd Catholic Group church on January 15, 2022, in Colleyville, Texas.

Emil Lippe / Getty Photos

Authorities mentioned shortly afterward that the suspect was useless. 

Authorities didn’t reveal a particular motive, however the FBI mentioned it believes the hostage-taker was “singularly centered on one subject, and it was not particularly associated to the Jewish group.” A supply near the incident instructed Newsplaneta Information that they consider the hostage-taker had requested for the discharge of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani girl serving an 86-year sentence in federal jail for attempting to kill U.S. officers in Afghanistan.

White Home nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan known as the incident an “act of terrorism” and an “act of anti-Semitism” in an interview on “Face the Nation” Sunday morning.

“We’ve the Division of Homeland Safety, the FBI and legislation enforcement and intelligence companies working intensively to get a full image of what this particular person’s motives had been and whether or not or not there are any additional connections,” Sullivan mentioned.

FBI Dallas particular agent in cost Matthew DeSarno mentioned Saturday night time that there isn’t a indication of “any form of ongoing menace.” He mentioned the FBI will proceed investigating the hostage-taker, and famous that the investigation would have “international attain.” 

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville posted on Fb on Sunday that he’s “grateful” for the legislation enforcement and safety coaching. 

“I’m grateful that we made it out,” he wrote. “I’m grateful to be alive.”

Jordan Freiman contributed to this report.

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