Texas Synagogue Hostage-Taker was Under Investigation by British MI5, Supported Pro-Palestinian and Jihadi Causes
“He is a known participant in demonstrations supporting pro-Palestine agenda and Guantanamo Bay prisoner rallies and approved of Jihad.”
While the mainstream media portrays the Texas synagogue hostage-taker as a lone gunman with “mental health issues,” new reports reveal his deep ties to Islamist organizations and his leadership role in Muslim religious organizations.
On Saturday, 44-year-old British citizen Malik Faisal Akram was shot dead by a SWAT team after a 10-hour stand-off at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Akram, who had traveled from Lancashire (UK), took four Jewish worshipers hostage, including the congregation’s rabbi.
“According to official sources based in London, Malik Akram was a member of the pan-Islamic Tablighi Jamaat and had travelled abroad for works related to the organisation,” the leading Indian newspaper Hindustan Times reported. Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamist group with roots in India and Pakistan, is banned in some Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia.
“Akram also briefly served as the head of the Rondell street Islamic Centre in the London area, also known as Reza Masjid, where largely Muslims of Pakistani origin prayed,” the Indian newspaper revealed. “He is a known participant in demonstrations supporting pro-Palestine agenda and Guantanamo Bay prisoner rallies and approved of Jihad.”
He demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani national convicted by a New York court for trying to kill U.S. servicemen in Afghanistan.
In 2020, the assailant was also under investigation by the MI5, UK’s domestic counter-intelligence service, for being a potential terrorist threat to the country.
Meanwhile, the UK police have opened an investigation into Saturday’s Texas synagogue hostage-taking. Two teenagers have been arrested in Manchester in connection with the attack.
The BBC reported the arrest of the suspected Islamist duo:
Two teenagers have been arrested in England as part of the investigation into a hostage-taking incident at a synagogue in Texas on Saturday.
British citizen Malik Faisal Akram, 44, from Blackburn, was shot dead after a standoff with police in Colleyville.
Details of the ages and genders of the pair arrested in south Manchester on Sunday evening were not released.
Greater Manchester Police said it was liaising with local communities and continuing to assist in the US inquiry. The force said the two teenagers were arrested “as part of the ongoing investigation into the attack” and were being held in custody for questioning.
Akram was known for his support for jihad terrorism and his hatred of the United States. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he reportedly stormed a local court praising the Al Qaeda hijackers. “Malik Faisal Akram had entered the Blackburn Magistrates building the day after 9/11 raving to an usher he “wished he would have died” on one of the New York planes which collided with the Twin Towers, killing 2,996 people,” the British newspaper Evening Standard reported.
He had faced terrorism investigation at home. “The British man shot dead in the Texas synagogue siege was investigated by MI5 in late 2020,” The Times of London reported Tuesday. “Malik Faisal Akram, 44, was the subject of a “short lead investigation” for at least four weeks,” the newspaper added.
The jihadi sympathizer was soon let off the hook. “British intelligence closed the investigation, however, after officers had concluded Malik Faisal Akram from Blackburn posed no threat, and as a result he was able to freely travel to the US and purchase a gun,” British newspaper The Guardian reported.
The MI5, UK’s domestic counter-intelligence service, may have failed to alarm the U.S. authorities. The Guardian noted that “no information of concern appears to have been passed to the US authorities before the synagogue attack.”
The apparent intelligence failure highlights the pressure faced by the MI5 and British law enforcement as they deal with a rising tide of Islamism in the country. A 2017 UK intelligence analysis found that the UK was home to thousands of potential jihadis. “Intelligence officers have identified 23,000 jihadist extremists living in Britain as potential terrorist attackers,” the Times of London reported.
The British security services have prevented dozens of terrorist attacks in recent years. “A total of 31 late-stage terror plots have been foiled in the UK in the past four years,” the BBC reported in September 2021, citing the head of the MI5.DONATE
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