Claiming that Saturday’s Texas Synagogue hostage-taker raised no red flags that the authorities were aware of during his arrival into the US, the White House failed to take any responsibility for the incident.
On Wednesday, after several groups, as well as the attacker’s brother, criticized the United States for allowing Akram into the country despite his serious criminal history in the UK, the White House responded, shaking off all responsibility.
“Our understanding, and obviously we’re still looking into this, is that he was checked against U.S. government databases multiple times prior to entering the country, and the U.S. government did not have any derogatory information about the individual in our systems at the time of entry,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. She added: “We’re certainly looking back … what occurred to learn every possible lesson we can to prevent attacks like this in the future.”
British media, reported Tuesday that Akram was investigated by the domestic intelligence service MI5 as a possible “terrorist threat” in 2020, but authorities concluded he posed no danger, and the investigation was closed.
Akram was not believed to be included in the Terrorist Screening Database, a listing of known or suspected terrorists maintained by the FBI and shared with a variety of federal agencies, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. Had he been included, it would have been extremely difficult for him to get into the country.