Yesterday, in the suburbs of Dallas, a British national named Malik Faisal Akram took four hostages at a synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel. After a 10-hour standoff with the police, Akram was shot and killed.
In the aftermath of the situation, security services in both the U.S. and the U.K. are looking into how Akram was able to enter the United States and carry out the attack on the synagogue, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
Security services of both countries are being blamed for an “intelligence failure.”
Akram was 44 years old, from Blackburn, Lancashire, and had a criminal record. He had also been branded as a “menace” by the Blackburn magistrates’ court for raving about the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago, according to the Daily Mail.
NEW: The FBI has identified the hostage taker as Malik Faisal Akram, 44, a British citizen.
Akram is dead after an FBI team moved into to rescue hostages held at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX last night. pic.twitter.com/S7lB797GYR
— Blake Hanson (@BlakeFox4News) January 16, 2022
“The terror suspect was given a rare Exclusion Order at Blackburn’s magistrates’ court – the first in 25 years – for abusing staff about 9/11 on the day after the attack that claimed more than 2,750 lives,” the Daily Mail reported.
This led to questions of how Akram was able to enter the U.S. two weeks ago and whether intelligence agencies in Britain or the U.S. were aware of him.
One Tory Member of Parliament, Bob Seely, told the Daily Mail that there appeared to have been a “dreadful” error at the U.S. and U.K. borders that seems to have been caused by an “intelligence failure.”
“This is clearly a failure of intelligence sharing. It is absolutely dreadful that he has been allowed to go to the States and hurt people. Clearly something has gone wrong somewhere,” Seely said.
Akram entered the synagogue on Saturday by claiming to be a homeless man. He then took hostages and demanded the release of a Pakistani neuroscientist, Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year prison sentence in a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, Reuters and the BBC reported.
Fort Worth is about 15 miles from Congregation Beth Israel’s town of Colleyville, Texas.
Siddiqui is a female terrorist who was convicted in 2010 for trying kill U.S. military officials in Afghanistan, the BBC reported.
For 10 hours negotiators, officials from both sides of the Atlantic, and his own family members, spoke with Akram.
After his death, Akram’s brother, Gulbar, issued a statement condemning his brother’s actions.
“We would like to say that we as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident,” Gulbar Akram said, according to the BBC.
“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,” he added.
Gulbar also demanded to know how Akram had been allowed in the U.S. with his criminal record. Gulbar also said that Akram was mentally ill, according to the Daily Mail.
Yet, on Jan. 2 Akram landed in New York. He somehow traveled to Dallas, where between Jan. 6 and Jan. 13, he spent time at a Christian charity for the homeless in Dallas, according to the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail reported he bought the gun “on the street” at some point in Dallas.
Though Akram died and the hostages survived unharmed there are still questions.
One MP voiced surprise that Akram had been allowed to enter the U.S.
“How did he get into the US?” the MP said. “You get picked up for walking on the cracks in the pavement.”
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