Texas Synagogue Hostage Taker Was Known To U.K. Security Services

The gunman who took multiple people hostage at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, was investigated by authorities in the United Kingdom. Malik Faisal Akram was considered a “subject of interest” by MI5 in 2020 but was cleared following a brief investigation.

Akram, who had a criminal history in the U.K., was put on a list of former subjects of interest in 2021 after it was determined that he was not a threat. Officials have not released details of the probe or explained why Akram was cleared.

He traveled to the United States legally in December and was not flagged by U.S. intelligence officials before he arrived in New York City.

Officials are trying to determine how he traveled from New York to Texas.

Akram was shot and killed by police following an 11-hour standoff at Congregation Beth Israel during a Sabbath service on Saturday (January 15). He took four people, including a rabbi, hostage and demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a convicted terrorist who is serving an 86-year prison sentence in Forth Worth.

He released one of the hostages, while the other three managed to escape before Akram was killed.

Two teenagers were arrested in the United Kingdom in connection with the case and are being interviewed by investigators.

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