The Manchester Police in England arrested two teenage sons of the gunman who took four people, hostage, for more than 11 hours over the weekend in Colleyville, Texas Saturday afternoon.
The Manchester Police is now questioning the teenagers for their links to the crime of their father 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram, who died after Congregation Beth Israel Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and the three other hostages escaped unharmed and authorities swarmed the building.
A senior law enforcement official tells NBC News particularly host Mike Kosnar that Akram was in touch with his sons during the siege at the synagogue.
— Greater Manchester Police (@gmpolice) January 16, 2022
Authorities have not said how Akram died.
Meanwhile, also on Sunday, President Joe Biden revealed that hostage-taker in the Texas incident was armed with a gun apparently “purchased on the street.”
Biden said the hostage-taker spent his first night in Texas at a homeless shelter and speculated that he might have gotten a gun there.
Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker revealed on Sunday that the assailant was “increasingly belligerent and threatening” in the standoff’s last hour.
Walker is grateful to the law enforcement for their efforts – and to many others for their prayers.
“I am thankful and filled with appreciation for all of the vigils and prayers and love and support, all of the law enforcement and first responders who cared for us, all of the security training that helped save us,” Cytron-Walker wrote in a Facebook post. “I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for the CBI Community, the Jewish Community, the Human Community. I am grateful that we made it out. I am grateful to be alive,” Walker said.
Earlier, following an 11-hour standoff at the Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, the hostage-taker later identified as Malik Faisal Akram was shot dead by a successful operation involving over 50 police officers. All hostages are rescued and safe.
Sources said the shul let the gunman in because they thought he was an unhoused person in need of shelter.
Almost 200 cops help in the hostage crisis
After the successful rescue of four hostages and the neutralization of the lone hostage-taker at a Texas Reformed synagogue on Saturday, it was learned that almost 200 law enforcement officers have joined forces to resolve the situation.
The FBI alone brought 60-70 people from DC and they are grateful that their hard work has ended in a successful rescue of all hostages who are all adults.
Both PD and the FBI will not say if weapons were found on the dead suspect.
The FBI revealed the Texas synagogue hostage taker’s demands were specifically focused on issues not connected to the Jewish community.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is grateful for the safe rescue of the hostages.
Biden thanked the courageous work of the state, local, and federal law enforcement for the rescue of the hostages.
“I am grateful to the tireless work of law enforcement at all levels who acted cooperatively and fearlessly to rescue the hostages. We are sending love and strength to the members of Congregation Beth Israel, Colleyville, and the Jewish community,” Biden said in a statement.
Biden said although the motive of the hostage-taking is not yet clear at the moment, he wants his administration will always run after those people who spread hate.
“But let me be clear to anyone who intends to spread hate—we will stand against anti-Semitism and against the rise of extremism in this country,” Biden added in the same statement.
The hostage-taker earlier told Colleyville congregation that he’s the brother of an ISIS member Aafia Siddiqui, incarcerated in Fort Worth, and he flew to Texas. He also said Beth Israel was the closest synagogue to DFW airport.
However, a lawyer for Siddiqui’s biological brother confirmed in a statement that it was not Muhammad Siddiqui holding people hostage.
John Floyd, board chair of CAIR Houston and longtime legal counsel for Siddiqui’s brother, said in a statement that his client is not responsible for the situation, is not near Dallas-Fort Worth and that hostage-taker has nothing to do with Siddiqui.
“We want the assailant to know that his actions are wicked and directly undermine those of us who are seeking justice for Dr. Aafia,” Floyd said in a statement.