Particulars emerge about suspected gunman in Texas synagogue hostage standoff

Extra particulars are rising Monday concerning the suspected gunman answerable for the Texas synagogue hostage standoff, following a high-level legislation enforcement convention name led by FBI director Christopher Wray, notes of which have been obtained by CBS Information.

The suspect, 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, a British citizen who’s believed to have come to New York in late December, stated he purchased the gun used within the assault, “on the road,” based on notes from the decision, which included officers from the FBI, Division of Homeland Safety and Texas police. The gun was final bought in Texas in September 2019.

Akram had arrived in Texas by December 31, officers stated on the decision. As soon as he had entered the synagogue and brought the 4 individuals hostage, he repeatedly stated he was keen to die by the palms of police, based on the notes. He additionally stated he was not appearing on behalf of a international terrorist group.

The FBI stated Sunday that throughout the hostage scenario, the gunman “spoke repeatedly a few convicted terrorist who’s serving an 86-year jail sentence in the US on terrorism prices.”

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

Police Respond To Hostage Situation At Texas Synagogue
A legislation enforcement car sits in entrance of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on January 16, 2022 in Colleyville, Texas, after a hostage standoff ended safely.

Getty Photographs

Akram appeared to grow to be angrier because the night time wore on, the convention notes stated. Close to the tip of the greater than 10-hour standoff, he threatened to kill the hostages when there had been no progress on Siddiqui’s launch — prompting authorities to approve the doorway of the FBI Hostage Rescue staff. 

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who was one of many individuals taken hostage, advised “CBS Mornings” that the scenario gave the impression to be deteriorating close to the tip of the night time, and he knew from attending safety coaching classes that “when your life is threatened, you could do no matter you’ll be able to to get to security.”  

“I advised 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 in a position to get out with out even a shot being fired.”

The convention name comes as investigators are nonetheless working to piece collectively the weeks main as much as the standoff. 

A legislation enforcement supply advised CBS Information that Akram stayed at each a resort and a homeless shelter in Texas. 

A Dallas heart that gives companies to the homeless advised CBS Information that Akram got here there “presenting as a homeless particular person in want of shelter” at roughly 10 p.m. on January 2. He spent the night time on the facility and left the subsequent day, the middle stated, including that it has shared video and images with the FBI. 

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

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

Asif Mahmud, a neighborhood organizer in Blackburn, England, who has identified the household for 30 years, advised The Related Press that Akram “had psychological well being points for plenty of years.” 

“The household clearly have been conscious of that … however no one envisaged he would probably go and do one thing like this,” Mahmud stated.

Following the decision with federal legislation enforcement officers, FBI Deputy Director Paul Abate and DHS Below Secretary for Intelligence and Evaluation John Cohen despatched a message to state and native legislation enforcement companions warning them of a heightened risk setting. 

“Religion primarily based communities have and can seemingly proceed to be targets of violence by each home violent extremists and people impressed by international terrorists,” the message learn. 

Officers famous that Saturday’s hostage scenario “seems to be an remoted incident” and there are at the moment no extra particular and credible threats related to it. Each FBI and DHS stay in a 24/7 monitoring and safety posture, “to make sure this incident just isn’t a catalyst for related assaults.” 

Texas rabbi on surviving hostage disaster


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