Officials on Sunday identified the man responsible for Saturday’s hostage incident at a Texas synagogue, but the mystery of his motives remains.
Malik Faisal Akram, 44, a British national, was identified by FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno as the man who held four hostages at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, according to Fox News.
“The FBI’s Evidence Response Team will continue processing evidence at the synagogue. At this time, there is no indication that other individuals are involved,” FBI Dallas said in an emailed statement, according to Fox.
Akram was killed when FBI agents stormed the synagogue after the ordeal had lasted for about 11 hours. No hostages were hurt.
During his negotiations with federal and local officials, Akram had demanded the release of terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, who is currently in prison for trying to murder U.S. service members in Afghanistan, according to Fox. Other reports indicated he wanted to speak to her.
Officials do not know the connection between the two. Although Akram used the word “sister” to refer to Siddiqui, officials have said he was not her biological brother.
Britain’s Sky News said Akram was from Blackburn, which is located northwest of Manchester.
The Blackburn Muslim community on Malik Akram, the British gunman shot dead by the FBI’s elite rescue team 👇 pic.twitter.com/SnJ8Tjxk47
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) January 16, 2022
He was not living in the U.S., but had recently traveled here, Sky News reported.
A statement from Akram’s family said they were “devastated” by his death and said family members “do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident”.
Akram’s brother Gulbar said members of the family spent hours “liasing with Faisal” during the standoff, the statement said, Sky News reported.
The statement said that although the hostage-taker was “suffering from mental health issues, we were confident that he would not harm the hostages”.
“There was nothing we could have said to him or done that would have convinced him to surrender,” Gulbar said.
President Joe Biden told reporters Sunday that the hostage situation was an “act of terror.”
“ I don’t think there is sufficient information to know about why he targeted that synagogue or why he insisted on the release of someone who’s been in prison for over 10 years, why he was engaged — why he was using anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli comments. I — we just don’t have enough facts,” he said, according to a White House transcript.
Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist, is serving an 86-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2010 on charges that she tried to kill American service members in Afghanistan in 2008, according to Fox.
According to Fox News, she was described by the FBI and Justice Department as an “al-Qaida operative and facilitator.”
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