- British reports say Akram’s family “do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident.”
The FBI identified the hostage-taker in the standoff in Colleyville, Texas, as Malik Faisal Akram, a British citizen. The 44-year-old, who had taken 4 hostages at a synagogue and held them for nearly 10 hours, died during a rescue operation by the FBI SWAT team. None of the hostages were harmed by Akram or during the rescue. The police have not revealed how Akram died.
“Over the course of the day, about 200 local, state and federal law enforcement officers converged on the synagogue, including a team of F.B.I. agents and hostage negotiators who flew from Quantico, Va.,” The New York Times reported. One male hostage was released at about 5 p.m., according to the police.
Earlier, the Texas Department of Public Safety said Akram had demanded to see his “sister,” Aafia Siddiqui, who may not actually be related to him, and who is currently serving an 86-year sentence at the Federal Medical Center in Carswell in Fort-Worth, after being convicted in 2010 of attempting to murder American citizens in Afghanistan.
Akram reportedly arrived in the U.S. about two weeks ago through JFK International Airport.
According to Sky News, Akram’s family was “devastated” by his death. The Guardian reported that his brother Gulbard said in a statement that family members had spent hours “liaising with Faisal” during the hostage-taking and that although he was “suffering from mental health issues we were confident that he would not harm the hostages.”
The family was also quoted by Sky News as saying that they “do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident.”
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that the Greater Manchester Police issued a statement saying officers from Counter Terror Policing North West “have made two arrests in relation to the incident” in Texas, adding that the two teenagers detained “remain in custody for questioning.”