The Briton who took four people hostage this weekend in a synagogue in the United States was the subject of an investigation by the British internal intelligence service (MI5) in 2020 which concluded that there was no threat, say British media on Tuesday January 18.
This had estimated that “there was no indication that he represented a terrorist threat at the time”, according to a source quoted by the daily The Telegraph. Malik Faisal Akram, 44, has been identified by the FBI, the American federal police, as the kidnapper of the hostage situation at a synagogue in Colleyville, a town of about 23,000 people located about 40 miles from Dallas , in Texas.
He was killed in the police raid on Saturday while the four hostages were all released unharmed. According to sky news, he had arrived in the United States just before the New Year via JFK airport in New York, before buying the weapon used during the hostage crisis. The television channel also points out that he had been imprisoned four times between 1996 and 2012, in particular for disturbing public order, harassment and theft.
The British government assured Monday of its “full support” to the American police in the investigation into this hostage taking. Counter-terrorism police in the North West of England announced on Tuesday that they have released two teenagers who were arrested in south Manchester on Sunday. A search was carried out in the northern districts of Manchester as part of the investigation, the police also said.
His brother called him to convince him to surrender
United States President Joe Biden confirmed that the suspect had “insisted on the release of someone who has been in prison for 10 years” and “made anti-Semitic and anti-Israel comments”. According to several American media, he demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist sentenced in 2010 by a federal court in New York (United States) to 86 years in prison for having tried to shoot American soldiers when she was detained in Afghanistan.
His brother Gulbar Akram, a resident of Manchester, telephoned him in connection with the police while he was in the midst of a hostage situation, reports the New York Times. “I tried to talk, to calm him down”, but without success, he told the American media. “I don’t know what was going through his mind. His brother says he had been away from his family for several years.
Rabbi threw chair at hostage taker to escape
One of those taken hostage, a rabbi, threw a chair at the armed man who was holding him hostage in his synagogue, only to flee with two worshippers. “When I saw an opportunity, at a time when he was not in good shape, I made sure that the two men who were still with me were ready to leave. The exit was not too far. I told them to go, “said Charlie Cytron-Walker on the channel CBS, the voice marked by emotion. “I threw a chair at the gunman and headed for the door, and the three of us were able to get out without a single shot being fired,” he explained. .
This heroic decision was actually the implementation of a training aimed at protecting Jewish institutions in the United States that he had undergone. The rabbi also praised the organization Secure Communities Network (SCN) for having trained him to react to a dangerous situation, such as this hostage-taking which lasted more than 10 hours.