• Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

Blackburn man shot dead by U.S police in Texas synagogue live streamed hostage taking

Byscarcity news

Jan 16, 2022

The man shot dead by American police has been identified by the FBI as 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram from Blackburn,England. He was killed in a shooting incident” after the FBI entered the building at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, on Saturday.

All four hostages were unharmed.

During the incident – which saw police first called at 11am and ended with the release of the final hostages at around 9pm – the man could be heard ranting on a livestream in what appeared to be a British accent.

A suspect who was shot dead by officers at a Texas synagogue was British, the Foreign Office has confirmed. One hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville was released six hours into the 10-hour standoff, before an FBI SWAT team entered the building at around 9pm local time on Saturday and the three others were released unharmed.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Matt DeSarno said earlier there was no immediate indication that the man had connections to any broader plan but that the agency’s investigation “will have global reach”. A spokesperson for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said it is “aware of the death of a British man in Texas and are in contact with the local authorities”.

The hostage-taker was earlier heard demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist suspected of having ties to al Qaeda, who was convicted of trying to kill US military officers while in custody in Afghanistan.

Mr DeSarno said on Saturday night that the man had been identified “but we are not prepared to release his identity or confirm his identity at this time”. Police were first called to the synagogue at around 11am local time on Saturday, when they evacuated people from the surrounding area, FBI Dallas spokeswoman Katie Chaumont said.


Part of the attack was caught on a livestream of the morning shabbat service being broadcast on Facebook. Local media reports claim an angry man was heard shouting about religion and “his sister”, before the feed cut out at around 2pm. They claim the suspect had a British accent. A rabbi in New York City had earlier received a call from the rabbi thought to be held hostage in Texas demanding Siddiqui’s release, according to law enforcement officials, who are now interviewing him.

One of the hostages was let go, before the SWAT team stormed the building, witnesses heard loud bangs and Texas Governor Gregg Abbott announced the crisis was over. “Prayers answered. All hostages are out alive and safe,” he wrote on Twitter.

In the moments before his death Akram can be seen popping out of the door as he chases after them with a gun, before quickly retreating back inside and closing the door after spotting the nearby SWAT team. Dozens of agents then breach the synagogue as gunshots can be heard. 

President Joe Biden, who was briefed on the crisis as it unfolded, praised the “courageous work” of all those involved in the rescue operation. There is more we will learn in the days ahead about the motivations of the hostage taker,” he said in a statement. “But let me be clear to anyone who intends to spread hate – we will stand against anti-Semitism and against the rise of extremism in this country.”

The officials revealed that he said he wanted to be able to speak to her. While a number of people were reported to have heard the hostage-taker refer to Siddiqui as his “sister” on the livestream, her brother is said not to have been involved. John Floyd, board chairman for the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and long-time legal counsel for Siddiqui’s brother, said his client was not the person responsible for the “heinous” incident. Floyd condemned what had happened as “wicked”, and said the person involved “has nothing to do with Dr Aafia, her family, or the global campaign to get justice for Dr Aafia”.

A statement posted on the Blackburn Muslim Community Facebook page stated: “Faisal Akram has sadly departed from this temporary world and returned to his Creator. He was the son of Mohammed Malik Akram and the brother of Gulbar, Malik, Nasar, Yassar and Late Gulzameer Akram.

“May the Almighty forgive all his sins and bless him with the highest ranks of Paradise. May Allah give strength and patience to his loved ones in dealing with their loss.” A statement attributed to Gulbar said: “It is with great great sadness I will confirm my brother Faisal passed away in Texas, USA this morning. “We are absolutely devastated as a family. We can’t say much now as their is an ongoing FBI investigation.


“We would like to say that we as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologise wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident. “Sitting in the incident room all last night at Greenbank until the early hours liaising with Faisal , the negotiators, FBI etc And although my brother was suffering from mental health issues we were confident that he would not harm the hostages.”

It added: “The FBI are due to fly into the UK later today so we don’t have much else to share at the moment. Obviously our priority will be to get him back to the UK for his Funeral prayers although we have been warned it could take weeks.

“We would also like to add that any attack on any human being be it a Jew, Christian or Muslim etc is wrong and should always be condemned.” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss condemned the “act of terrorism and anti-semitism”, while the British Ambassador to the United States Karen Pierce said British authorities are providing “full support to Texas and US law enforcement agencies”

Nearby resident Victoria Francis told the Associated Press she tuned into the stream before the feed was turned off and heard a man say “I’m the guy with a bomb” and “if you make a mistake this is all on you”. Video from Dallas TV Station WFAA also showed a number of people running out of the door of the synagogue and a man holding a gun.

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