Particulars emerge about suspected gunman in Texas synagogue hostage standoff

Extra particulars are rising Monday concerning the suspected gunman accountable for the Texas synagogue hostage standoff on Saturday. The suspect, 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, was killed after the FBI breached Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, following an 11-hour standoff. The 4 folks taken hostage all emerged unhurt.  

A legislation enforcement supply instructed CBS Information that Akram, a British citizen, flew to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport a number of days earlier than New Yr’s and spent a number of days within the space in an inexpensive lodge. He went to Texas quickly after and stayed at each a lodge and a homeless shelter, the supply stated. 

Federal legislation enforcement officers are persevering with to research how Akram traveled from New York to Texas. 

The legislation enforcement supply stated Akram obtained the handgun he used within the standoff “on the road,” however didn’t specify how or the place. The gun was loaded, the supply stated. 

A senior U.S. official instructed CBS Information that FBI brokers are going to homeless shelters within the space and talking with folks there to attempt to hint Akram’s actions. Two U.S. officers instructed CBS Information that Akram was not on any U.S. terror watch lists, although the matter stays underneath investigation. 

SWAT team members deploy near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas
SWAT workforce members deploy close to the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, west of Dallas, on January 15, 2022.

ANDY JACOBSOHN/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

British police stated late Sunday that two youngsters had been detained in South Manchester in reference to the incident. The legislation enforcement supply instructed CBS Information that the 2 individuals are Akram’s teenage sons, who have been allegedly involved with him the day of the incident. Investigators want to decide what the sons could find out about their father’s alleged actions, the supply stated. 

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who was one of many folks taken hostage, instructed “CBS Mornings” that when the gunman first entered the synagogue, he thought he may want shelter and made him a cup of tea. However throughout a prayer service, which was being live-streamed, the gunman revealed his intentions. 

“It was terrifying,” Cytron-Walker stated. “It was overwhelming and we’re nonetheless processing. It has been lots.”

The FBI stated Sunday that through the hostage state of affairs, the gunman “spoke repeatedly a few convicted terrorist who’s serving an 86-year jail sentence in the USA on terrorism costs.”

A supply near the incident had beforehand instructed CBS Information that the hostage-taker had requested for the discharge of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani lady serving an 86-year sentence in a federal jail in Texas for making an attempt to kill U.S. officers in Afghanistan.

The legislation enforcement supply stated investigators had been involved with Siddiqui to find out if there was any connection between her and Akram. 

One hostage was launched at roughly 5 p.m. native time. Cytron-Walker and the opposite two remaining hostages have been capable of escape hours later. Cytron-Walker stated the state of affairs appeared to be deteriorating, and he knew from attending safety coaching periods that “when your life is threatened, that you must do no matter you’ll be able to to get to security.”  

“I instructed them to go, I threw a chair on the gunman and I headed for the door,” he stated. “And all three of us have been capable of get out with out even a shot being fired.”

Texas rabbi on surviving hostage disaster


Nicole Sganga contributed reporting. 

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