16th January, 2022
The Colleyville Texas hostage taker has been identified as 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, a British national from Blackburn.
Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue for 10 hours before an FBI SWAT team stormed the building, ending a tense standoff that President Joe Biden called “an act of terror.”
He was shot and killed after the last of the hostages got out at around 9 p.m. Saturday at Congregation Beth Israel near Fort Worth.
In a statement, the FBI said there was no indication that anyone else was involved, but it didn’t provide a possible motive.
His identity was confirmed by his brother and Muslim Community in Blackburn on Sunday, which issued separate obituaries.
The Muslim Community wrote on Facebook: “Faisal Akram has sadly departed from this temporary world and returned to his Creator. He was the son of Mohammed Malik Akram and the brother of Gulbar, Malik, Nasar, Yassar and Late Gulzameer Akram.
“May the Almighty forgive all his sins and bless him with the highest ranks of Paradise. May Allah give strength and patience to his loved ones in dealing with their loss.
“There are many stories circulating in the local community so please avoid taking part in the sin of backbiting.
“Let the authorities complete their investigations, have respect for the family and allow them to mourn peacefully”.
Faisal Akram’s brother Gulbar Akram wrote a longer statement, which also debunked the FBI story that the four hostages were rescued.
Gulbar revealed his brother had mental issues and that he was part of the negotiations that led to the release of the hostages, unhurt.
“Salaam Family & Friends, It is with great great sadness I will confirm my brother Faisal passed away in Texas, USA this morning.
“We are absolutely devastated as a family.
“We can’t say much now as their is an ongoing FBI investigation.
“We would like to say that we as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident.
“Sitting in the incident room all last night at Greenbank until the early hours liaising with Faisal, the negotiators, FBI etc And although my brother was suffering from mental health issues we were confident that he would not harm the hostages.
“At around 3am the first person was released then an hour later he released the other 3 people through the fire door unharmed.
“Don’t believe the bull#### in the media they were released from the fire exit and Not rescued.
“A few minutes later a firefight has taken place and he was shot and killed. ILWIAR. There was nothing we could have said to him or done that would have convinced him to surrender.
“The FBI are due to fly into the UK later today so we don’t have much else to share at the moment. Obviously our priority will be to get him back to the UK for his Funeral prayers although we have been warned it could take weeks.
“We would also like to add that any attack on any human being be it a Jew, Christian or Muslim etc is wrong and should always be condemned.
“It is absolutely inexcusable for a Muslim to attack a Jew or for any Jew to attack a Muslim, Christian, Hindu vice versa etc etc
“Finally to all the people that have been bombarding us with non stop calls and texts please for the love of Allah STOP please STOP show some restraint and respect at such a difficult time for our family especially after losing our younger sibling barely 3 months ago.
“Please if you can grant us some privacy as we are grieving privately in our homes.
“Please keep our family present and deceased in your prayers.
“I will of course update you very soon”, he wrote.
Akram could be heard ranting on a Facebook livestream of the services and demanding the release of a Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted of trying to kill U.S. Army officers in Afghanistan.
The FBI and police spokeswomen declined to answer questions Saturday night about who shot Akram when the standoff ended.
Video from Dallas TV station WFAA showed people running out a door of the synagogue, and then a man holding a gun opening the same door just seconds later before he turned around and closed it.
Moments later, several rounds of gunfire could be heard, followed by the sound of an explosion.
Police were first called to the synagogue around 11 a.m. and people were evacuated from the surrounding neighborhood soon after that, FBI Dallas spokeswoman Katie Chaumont said.
Saturday’s services were being livestreamed on the synagogue’s Facebook page for a time. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that an angry man could be heard ranting and talking about religion at times during the livestream, which didn’t show what was happening inside the synagogue.
Shortly before 2 p.m., the man said, “You got to do something. I don’t want to see this guy dead.” Moments later, the feed cut out. A spokesperson for Meta Platforms Inc., the corporate successor to Facebook Inc., later confirmed that Facebook had removed the video.
Multiple people heard the hostage-taker refer to Siddiqui as his “sister” on the livestream. But John Floyd, board chair for the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, — the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group — said Siddiqui’s brother, Mohammad Siddiqui, was not involved.
“This assailant has nothing to do with Dr. Aafia, her family, or the global campaign to get justice for Dr. Aafia. We want the assailant to know that his actions are wicked and directly undermine those of us who are seeking justice for Dr. Aafia,” said Floyd, who also is legal counsel for Mohammad Siddiqui.
“We have confirmed that the family member being wrongly accused of this heinous act is not near the DFW Metro area.”