FBI identifies British man as responsible for kidnapping in Texas

Washington, Jan 16 (EFE) .- The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identified this Sunday the British citizen Malik Faisal Akram as responsible for taking hostages in a synagogue in Texas, while the investigation of the event continues. expanded to the UK and Israel. Akram, 44, was shot dead Saturday night at the Colleyville (Texas) synagogue, about ten hours after the kidnapping began at the place of worship, which ended with the four hostages released unharmed. . In a statement, the FBI office in Dallas identified Akram and assured that for now “there is no indication that other people were involved,” but did not give details about the reasons that led the suspect to kidnap those who participated this Saturday in a religious service in the synagogue. Shortly before the FBI announcement, the UK government had said in a statement that it was “aware of the death of a British citizen in Texas” and that it was “in contact with local authorities.” Republican Congressman Michael McCaul, who belongs to the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Sunday that the FBI had “expanded its investigation to London and Tel Aviv.” “This has become an international investigation,” McCaul told CNN. US President Joe Biden assured this Sunday that he had no details about the motives that led the suspect to act, and revealed that Akram “supposedly bought on the street” the weapons he owned. “This was an act of terrorism,” Biden stressed in statements to the press upon arriving in Philadelphia, where he participated with the first lady in a volunteer act on the occasion of the Martin Luther King holiday, which is celebrated this Monday. Biden assured that he had spoken with the US Attorney General, Merrick Garland, about the importance of sending the message that such attacks will not be “tolerated” in “synagogues and places of worship”. In his hours-long negotiations with FBI agents, the suspect called for the release of Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year prison sentence in Texas for trying to kill US soldiers and agents while detained in Afghanistan. . Although in those conversations he claimed to be Siddiqui’s brother, that prisoner’s lawyer, Marwa Elbially, later ruled out that there was any family ties between the two, and condemned Akram’s actions. The FBI special agent in charge of the operation, Matthew DeSarno, said in a press conference on Saturday night that Akram’s motivation appeared to be solely to secure Sidiqqui’s release, and that his actions did not appear to be “specifically related to the Jewish community.” However, he did not rule out that the investigation may ultimately lead to other conclusions, and both Biden and the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, condemned in separate statements any act of “anti-Semitism” in the country. One of the four hostages was the rabbi of the synagogue of the Beth Israel congregation, Charlie Cytron-Walker, who expressed his “gratitude for being alive” on his Facebook account on Sunday. EFE llb/laa


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