UK police arrest 2 men in connection with Texas synagogue hostage incident
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UK police arrest 2 men in connection with Texas synagogue hostage incident

Two men were arrested Wednesday in Manchester, England as a part of the US investigation into a hostage situation at a Texas synagogue earlier this month.

The hostage situation took place on January 15 at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, a town near Fort Worth, Texas. Malik Faisal Akram, 44, of Lancashire, England held four hostages inside the synagogue for more than 10-hours in a standoff with the FBI.

During the hostage situation, Akram livestreamed a video to Facebook. In it, Akram demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted of attempting to kill US Army officers in Afghanistan. Siddiqui is currently serving an 86 year sentence in a Texas federal prison.

Following the standoff, FBI agents stormed the synagogue. Akram was shot and killed at that time. All four hostages survived. FBI Special Agent in Charge Matt DeSarno said the investigation into the incident would have a “global reach.”

According to the BBC, the British Security Service investigated Akram as a “subject of interest” in 2020. By 2021, however, Akram was no longer considered a threat, despite a UK criminal record.

Officers from the Counter Terrorism Policing North West, including the Greater Manchester Police, have been involved in the investigation into Akram. Police arrested two men from Birmingham and Manchester on January 20 under suspicion of involvement in the Texas hostage incident. Both men were later released.

The two men arrested in Manchester Wednesday were both taken into custody under suspicion of involvement in the Texas hostage incident. Since then, one man has been released. The second remains in the custody of the Greater Manchester Police.