Two teenagers were arrested by counter-terrorism police in Manchester last night while investigating a British gunman who took a rabbi and three followers hostage in Texas.
Police have stormed in during a joint FBI investigation into 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, who was shot dead after a 12-hour siege at a synagogue in Israel.
The teenagers were questioned as security agencies began urgently looking into the background of the gunman, from Blackburn, Lancs.
Last night, his brother said he should not have been allowed to come to the US because he had a criminal record and had mental health problems.
Gulbar Akram also told how he begged Malik to surrender during Saturday’s talks with negotiators.
He allegedly barged in during a live-streamed Sabbath ceremony and asked to speak to a jailed terrorist mastermind known as Lady Al-Qaeda.
President Joe Biden called it an “act of terrorism” because the FBI pledged its investigation would expand globally.
Greater Manchester Police said last night: “As part of the ongoing investigation into an attack that took place at a synagogue in Texas on 15 January 2022, officers from Terrorism Prevention Policing North West made two arrests.
“Two teenagers were detained in south Manchester this evening. They remain in custody for questioning.
“North West Terrorism Policy continues to support the US government-led investigation and police forces in the area are liaising with the local community to come up with any measures to bring about.” more reassuring.”
The suspect – who was shot dead when officers stormed the building – held members of the Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville for nearly 12 hours.
All the hostages were unharmed.
The early stages of the siege were broadcast live on the synagogue’s Facebook page, which was broadcasting the day’s ceremony when the gunman stormed in.
A man’s voice was heard saying “let’s do something” and “I haven’t talked to her yet” and sometimes shouting obscenities.
He is also said to have heard, “I’m dying. Don’t cry for me,” based on KTVT local socket.
The gunman, who speaks with a British accent, also mentioned having “six beautiful kids” and claimed he had a bomb.
Victoria Francis, of Texas, told the Associated Press she watched about an hour of the live stream before it was cut, listening to the man speak against America and insist he had a bomb.
“He was just everywhere on the map. He’s pretty cranky and the more irritable he gets, the more threats he’ll make, like ‘I’m the bomb man. If you make a mistake, it’s all your fault. ‘ And he would laugh about it.
“He is clearly in a state of extreme distress.”
Police were first called to the synagogue around 11 a.m. on January 15.
One hostage was released during the intermission and three others were out around 9 p.m. local time when a team of FBI Swats entered the building, authorities said.
The hostage, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, said that the suspect became “increasingly belligerent and threatening” towards the end of the siege.
The FBI confirmed that Akram was killed after loud explosions and gunshots were heard inside the building.
All four hostages were unharmed and will be reunited with their families after the incident, he added.
Akram, from Blackburn, Lancashire, arrived in the United States about two weeks ago, flying to JFK International Airport in New York, CBS news, citing law enforcement officials.
It is not yet clear whether Akram is on any watch lists, the outlet reported.
President Biden said it was unclear why the gunman had specifically targeted a synagogue.
He then added It is understood Akram purchased weapons used in the fighting “on the street” and spent his first night in the US “in a homeless shelter”.
“He bought them on landing and it turns out there were no bombs that we knew of,” Biden said.
“Apparently he spent his first night in a homeless shelter. I don’t have all the details yet so I’m reluctant to go into more detail.”
Akram’s brother, Gulbar, condemned the attack in a statement posted on the Facebook page of a local Muslim community group.
“I am deeply saddened, I will confirm my brother Faisal passed away this morning in Texas, USA,” he wrote.
“We were absolutely devastated as a family. We can’t say much now like [there] is an ongoing investigation by the FBI.
“We would like to say that we as a family do not offer condolences for any of his actions and sincerely apologize to all the victims involved in this unfortunate incident.”
The statement went on to say that the suspect “is suffering from mental health issues,” but the family are sure he will not harm the hostages.
It added: “We would also like to add that any attack against any human being whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim is wrong and should always be condemned.”
During a press conference on Saturday night, the FBI said that the suspect appeared to be “particularly focused on one issue and it did not specifically relate to the Jewish community.”
Authorities are still trying to determine the significance of his cry in relation to Aafia Siddiqui, also known as Lady Al Qaeda, who is serving an 86-year sentence at a federal prison near Fort Worth.
The Pakistani neuroscientist was one of the most wanted terrorists in the US after the 9/11 attacks.
In 2010, she was convicted of attempting to kill American service members in Afghanistan.
Initially, it was falsely reported that the gunman was her brother, Muhammad, and that he was demanding her release from prison.
Muhammad’s lawyer yesterday condemned Akram’s attack on the synagogue and said the family was working “to free their sister from custody by lawful and non-violent means.” .”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4476989/british-teens-arrested-in-texas-synagogue-attack/ Two teenagers are arrested by counter-terrorism police in Manchester after British hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram stormed a Texas synagogue