Identity Of Hostage-Taker At Texas Synagogue Revealed

By Dani Medina

January 16, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

The FBI has identified the hostage-taker of a Texas synagogue after an hours-long standoff at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville.

The hostage-taker has been identified as 44-year-old British citizen Malik Faisal Akram, according to CNN. Akram was the lone suspect and is dead. The four hostages were freed safely Saturday night after 11 hours.

The United Kingdom was "aware of the death of a British man in Texas and are in contact with the local authorities," according to an email to CNN from a spokesperson for the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The spokesperson did not confirm the man was the same man as the hostage-taker.

The hostage situation that unfolded at Congregation Beth Israel started around 11 a.m. Saturday during a Sabbath morning service that was being live streamed on Facebook. One of the four hostages was released around 5 p.m. and the other three were freed about five hours later. Among the four hostages was a rabbi.

The suspect's motive has not yet been confirmed, but President Joe Biden told reporters Sunday there aren't "enough facts" to determine why Akram targeted the synagogue. Investigators believe the hostage-taker wanted to have Aafia Siddiqui freed, a woman serving an 86-year sentence for the attempted murder and assault of U.S. officers in Afghanistan, according to ABC News. However, CNN reported Siddiqui's attorney said "she has absolutely no involvement with" the hostage situation at the synagogue and denied the suspect was Siddiqui's brother.

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