Revealed: Texas Synagogue Hostage-Taker 'Was Probed But Cleared by MI5'

© BRANDON BELL A law enforcement vehicle sits in front of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on January 16, 2022 in Colleyville, Texas.
 A law enforcement vehicle sits in front of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on January 16, 2022 in Colleyville, Texas. - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.01.2022
44-year-old British Pakistani national Malik Faisal Akram took four congregants hostage at a Texas synagogue on Saturday and demanded that authorities release an alleged al-Qaeda* operative serving a life sentence in a US jail. Akram freed one of his hostages, and was killed by FBI Hostage Rescue Team after the other three escaped.
Malik Faisal Akram was investigated by Britain’s MI5 domestic intelligence service as a possible terror threat in 2020, but cleared after it was concluded that he was harmless, Whitehall sources cited by multiple British media outlets have indicated.
The hostage-taker, who was shot dead after an hours-long standoff with police and the FBI after barricading himself at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, was listed as a “subject of interest” by British authorities as a potential Islamist terror threat, but by 2021 had been cleared at the time when he applied for and successfully obtained a US visa.
The “short-lead investigation” found that he was “no credible threat to national security at that time,” the Whitehall source said, adding that Akram “never reached the threshold” for the probe to be expanded into a full-on investigation.
A hijacked commercial plane crashes into the World Trade Center 11 September 2001 in New York.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.01.2022
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Akram, a resident of Blackburn, Lancashire, had three convictions to his name in the UK, serving prison sentences between 1996 and 2012 for crimes including violent disorder, destruction of property, harassment and breach of the terms of his release. While incarcerated at a prison in Liverpool, the prison imam reported him for “concerning and disruptive behaviour” during Friday prayers. He was also believed to have suffered from mental health issues, with investigators, friends and relatives cited in media in the wake of Saturday’s incident expressing surprise that he was able to get a US visa.
MI5 is now expected to review its file on Akram. The domestic intelligence service is said to have about 3,000 “subjects of interest,” as well as 600 more serious “live investigations” ongoing at any one time, with around 40,000 SoIs closed out over the years.
On Monday, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel promised to provide “full support” to US police and security services in the wake of Saturday’s attack.
After arriving in the US through New York City’s JFK Airport on 2 January and buying a handgun “on the street,” Akram traveled to Texas, staying at local homeless shelters, and eventually making his way to Colleyville – situated within the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, where he staged the deadly hostage-taking attack on a local synagogue Saturday which cost him his life.
 A law enforcement vehicle sits in front of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on January 16, 2022 in Colleyville, Texas. - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.01.2022
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Akram’s four hostages, including a rabbi, managed to get out unharmed, with the hostage-taker letting one of them go while the three others escaped after throwing a chair at Akram, who was gunned down by FBI Hostage Rescue commandos sent into the synagogue to neutralize him shortly after.
US President Joe Biden called Saturday’s attack an “act of terror” after discussing the incident with the attorney general.
Hostage incident at Texas synagogue - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.01.2022
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Media reports suggest that Akram was motivated by a desire to secure the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a 49-year-old Pakistani neuroscientist and MIT graduate convicted to 86 years in a Texas prison in 2010 for the attempted murder of US troops in Afghanistan while being held under arrest, in circumstances which her Houston-based lawyers continue to contest. Siddiqui’s lawyers have sought to distance their client from Akram, who was initially misreported to be the woman’s “brother.”
British police announced Monday that they had detained two teenagers in Manchester in connection with the Akram investigation, and reiterated that they are cooperating fully with the US on the matter.
A law enforcement vehicle is seen in the area where a man has reportedly taken people hostage at a synagogue during services that were being streamed live, in Colleyville, Texas, U.S. January 15, 2022. REUTERS/Shelby Tauber - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.01.2022
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