'US hostage-taker' identified as UK citizen Malik Faisal Akram

By: News Desk
Published: 11:30 PM, 16 Jan, 2022
'US hostage-taker' identified as UK citizen Malik Faisal Akram
'US hostage-taker' identified as UK citizen Malik Faisal Akram
'US hostage-taker' identified as UK citizen Malik Faisal Akram
'US hostage-taker' identified as UK citizen Malik Faisal Akram
'US hostage-taker' identified as UK citizen Malik Faisal Akram
'US hostage-taker' identified as UK citizen Malik Faisal Akram
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The US hostage-taker has been identified by the American authorities as a British citizen named Malik Faisal Akram on Sunday night.

According to the 24News HD TV channel, the United States has shared the details of the hostage-taker with English authorities.

US President Joe Biden has called the Texas synagogue incident a terrorist attack. He said the hostage-taker was demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has confirmed that no one else was involved in the incident of Texas synagogue incident.

The British Foreign Secretary has condemned the incident and said they are standing with the United States.

All hostages were freed unharmed late Saturday after an hours-long standoff at a Texas synagogue, where a man apparently demanding the release of jailed Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a former Pakistani scientist, had taken several captives. The personnel of a US SWAT team shot the hostage-taker dead.

All four people taken hostage in a more than 10-hour standoff at a Texas synagogue have been freed unharmed, police said late Saturday, and their suspected captor is dead.

The siege in the small Texas town of Colleyville had sparked an outpouring of concern from Jewish organizations in the United States as well as from the Israeli government.

Some 10 hours into the crisis, Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted that "all hostages are out alive and safe" at 9:30 pm (0330 Sunday GMT). 

Colleyville police chief Michael Miller told a news conference that a "rescue team breached the synagogue" on Saturday evening and rescued the three remaining hostages -- all adults -- being held inside. A first hostage had been released unharmed a few hours earlier. "The suspect is deceased," Miller told reporters.

FBI Dallas Special Agent Matt DeSarno said the four hostages -- who included a much-loved local rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker -- did not need medical attention and would soon be reunited with their families. "He did not harm them in any way," he said.

There were reports from journalists at the scene of a loud explosion and gunshots at the synagogue shortly before the press conference.

That was more than 10 hours after police were alerted to the emergency at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, some 25 miles (40 kilometres) west of Dallas.

Officers evacuated the synagogue's surroundings and cordoned off the area, the police force said.

ABC News reported that the hostage-taker was armed and had claimed to have bombs in unknown locations. That was not confirmed by the police although Miller said that "bomb techs are clearing the scene."

Quoting a US official briefed on the matter, ABC reported the man was demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui -- a Pakistani scientist who in 2010 was sentenced by a New York court to 86 years in prison for the attempted murder of US officers in Afghanistan.

She is currently being held at Federal Medical Center (FMC) prison in Fort Worth, Texas.

DeSarno told the news conference the suspect had been identified but did not disclose his identity.

ABC initially said the man claimed to be Siddiqui's brother, but later clarified her brother is in Houston -- while other experts said the word the man used in Arabic was more figurative and meant "sister" in the Islamic faith.

Siddiqui's lawyer said she "has absolutely no involvement" in the hostage situation in a statement to CNN. The lawyer confirmed that the man was not Siddiqui's brother and said she condemned his actions.