The hostage-taker demanded the release of a Pakistani woman. She is linked to the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda.
A British man was shot and killed on Saturday after a hostage action in Texas. The hostages were released and are unharmed. The investigation is ongoing.
Here is the most important thing known about the case so far:
On Saturday, a man took four hostages in a synagogue in the small town of Colleyville, Texas.
The man entered the synagogue during a service. Parts of the incident were broadcast live on Facebook, before the broadcast ended, ifølge Forth Worth Star-Telegram.
People who watched the broadcast say that the man threatened to have a bomb, writes the news agency AP.
The hostage action lasted for more than ten hours before the perpetrator was shot and killed.
Among the hostages were a rabbi and three other people. One person was released after six hours. The last three escaped just before the FBI operation.
Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker has said that he threw a chair at the hostage-taker so that they could escape.
– I saw an opportunity. He was in a good position. I made sure the men were with me. They were ready, he told the press.
Who was the hostage taker?
The perpetrator has been identified by the FBI as British Malik Faisal Akram. The 44-year-old man is not said to have lived in the United States, but to have carried out the attack during a trip there, writes Sky News. According to the newspaper, Akram is said to have left the UK on 2 January.
The 44-year-old is originally from Blackburn in England.
According to the Manchester Evening News Akram’s brother wrote a Facebook post in which he apologizes for the man’s actions.
The brother also wrote that he had assisted the FBI in the negotiations with Akram during the hostage operation. In the post, he also wrote that Akram had mental problems, but that they were sure that he would not harm any of the hostages.
“There is nothing we could say or do that would persuade him to surrender,” he continues.
What kind of demands did he make?
Parts of the attack were broadcast live on Facebook. The man is said to have had a loud phone call that was heard during the Facebook broadcast, writes CNBC. In the conversation, the man is said to have talked about religion and a “sister”.
The woman he was talking about is Pakistani Aafia Siddiqui. She has a doctorate in neuroscience from the United States, and she was nicknamed Lady Qaida in American tabloids.
Siddiqui is serving an 86-year sentence in a prison in the city of Forth Worth. The woman was imprisoned in 2010 for several offenses, including an attempted murder of American officers abroad.
During a hearing with the FBI, the man is said to have demanded the release of Siddiqui.
Siddiqui first appeared on the authorities’ radar after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. She was later remanded in custody in Afghanistan in 2008. She is said to have brought with her handwritten notes on the construction of bombs and terrorist targets such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.
What was the reaction to the imprisonment of the woman?
Pakistani authorities have been trying for several years to get Siddiqui released. Former Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is said to have called Siddiqui “the daughter of the nation” and promised to work for her release, writes the news agency AP.
Most recently in September, the Pakistani authorities issued a new demand for release. The demand came after the woman on July 30 had been attacked by another inmate in the prison, writes The Express Tribune.
Why a synagogue in Texas?
On Sunday, President Joe Biden said there was currently too little information to determine why Akram attacked the synagogue. writes CNN.
– Let me be clear to anyone who wants to spread hatred: We will oppose anti-Semitism and the growing extremism in this country, Biden said in a declaration.
British authorities condemn the act, and Foreign Minister Liz Truss describes the incident as an act of terrorism and anti-Semitic.
Forth Worth is located a short distance below Colleyville, where the incident took place.
Was he alone?
On Sunday, the FBI identified the man and stated that he may have acted alone, writes Buzzfeed News. At that time, the FBI did not find any information that could indicate that others were involved in the incident in Texas.
On Sunday night, two British teenagers were arrested in Manchester. They are now in custody. There is currently little information about the teens and their role in the hostage situation in Texas.
Where is the investigation now?
The FBI is investigating the case.
– We will continue to investigate the hostage-taker. We will continue to investigate his contacts. The investigation will be global, said FBI agent Matthew DeSarno, according to The New York Times.
According to Akram’s brother, the FBI was on its way to Britain.
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