Two men arrested in Manchester over Texas synagogue attack

Malik Faisal Akram and the synagogue where he took hostages.
Four hostages were taken in the incident by hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram (Picture: Getty Images/Reuters)

Two men have been arrested in Manchester in connection with the hostage incident at a Texas synagogue 10 days ago.

The attack was undertaken by British hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram, who was killed after a 10-hour stand-off with American police.

Akram, 44, who was originally from Blackburn in Lancashire, was shot dead when the FBI entered the place of worship in Colleyville on January 15.

He had been holding four people hostage, but they were later released unharmed.

In a new development on Wednesday, Counter Terrorism Policing North West said in a statement: ‘Officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North West are continuing with their investigation following the events in Texas. They are working closely with and are supporting US law enforcement.

‘As part of the local investigation, two men have been arrested this morning in Manchester. They remain in custody for questioning.

‘We continue to work closely with colleagues from other forces.’

No further details have been released about the pair.

Malik Faisal Akram is seen in this handout photo taken at a faith based daytime outreach center in Dallas, Texas, U.S., January 2, 2022 and obtained by Reuters on January 18, 2022. Courtesy of OurCalling, LLC./Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Akram was originally from Blackburn (Picture: Reuters)
SWAT team members deploy near the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, some 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Dallas, on January 15, 2022. - The SWAT police operation was underway at the synagogue where a man claiming to be the brother of a convicted terrorist has reportedly taken several people hostage, police and media said. (Photo by Andy JACOBSOHN / AFP) (Photo by ANDY JACOBSOHN/AFP via Getty Images)
Armed response teams attended the incident in Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, which the FBI said was anti-semitic (Picture: Getty Images)

Meanwhile, two men arrested in Birmingham and Manchester on January 20 as part of the same probe have been released from custody with no further action.

US President Joe Biden branded the incident an ‘act of terror’, while FBI director Christopher Wray said it was anti-semitic.

The bureau says it is conducting ‘rigorous’ analysis of Akram’s associates as well as his online activities and devices.

He had only been in the USA for less than three before the attack, having flown to New York on December 29 and later travelling to Texas, where he entered the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue.

Police stand in front of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Colleyville, Texas. A man held hostages for more than 10 hours Saturday inside the temple. The hostages were able to escape and the hostage taker was killed. FBI Special Agent in Charge Matt DeSarno said a team would investigate
The stand-off lasted for 10 hours (Picture: AP)
President Joe Biden speaks with members of the press about the Texas synagogue hostage incident before volunteering with first lady Jill Biden, back right, at hunger relief organization Philabundance, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
President Joe Biden labelled the incident an ‘act of terror’ (Picture: AP)

Akram – who is understood to have a criminal record – was investigated by MI5 in 2020.

But he was deemed not to be a credible threat to national security at the time.

It is not yet clear how he was able to travel to the US despite his UK criminal record.

The FBI said it is ‘working hard’ to learn more about how Akram acquired the firearm he possessed.

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MORE : Hostage-taker shot dead at Texas synagogue identified as 44-year-old Brit


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