UK police arrest another 2 men over Texas hostage siege

Texas Synagogue hostage
Posted at 7:59 AM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 08:59:26-05

LONDON (AP) — British police said Wednesday they arrested another two men in the investigation into the hostage-taking incident at a Texas synagogue earlier this month.

The counter-terrorism force Policing North West said the two men were arrested in the northern English city of Manchester. They were being held for questioning and have not yet been charged.

The police force did not disclose details about the two men. British police do not release names and details of detainees until they are charged.

The arrests came more than a week after a British man, Malik Faisal Akram, took four people hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in the Texas suburb of Colleyville. The Jan. 15 siege ended after the last hostage ran out of the synagogue and an FBI SWAT team rushed in.

Akram, 44, who was originally from the town of Blackburn in northwest England, was killed by multiple gunshot wounds. All four hostages were unharmed.

The hostages said Akram cited antisemitic stereotypes, and authorities said Akram was demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist convicted of trying to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan and who is serving a lengthy sentence in a prison near Colleyville.

On Jan. 20, British police detained two men in the cities of Birmingham and Manchester for questioning as part of the same investigation. The men were released with no further action.

Two British teenagers were also detained earlier in Manchester and released without charge.

British authorities have reportedly said that Akram was investigated by MI5, the domestic security service, in the second half of 2020, but was deemed not to be a credible threat at the time.