British Foreign Minister Liz Truss condemns the attack as an “act of terrorism and anti-Semitism”; U.K. ambassador to the United States says the two countries “stand shoulder to shoulder in defiance of terrorism.”
(January 17, 2022 / JNS) British counter-terror officers have arrested two people in connection with the Texas hostage crisis on Saturday, according to a statement by the Greater Manchester Police.
The arrests came shortly after the attacker, who was fatally shot by police following an 11-hour siege on Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, was named as Malik Faisal Akram, 44, of Blackburn, Lancashire. The FBI’s field office in Dallas had said earlier that Akram appeared to have acted alone.
Several British leaders on Sunday condemned the attack, including British Foreign Minister Liz Truss, who called it an “act of terrorism and anti-Semitism.”
Likewise, Karen Pierce, British ambassador to Washington, condemned “this shocking act on people practicing their faith” and said that “the UK & US stand shoulder to shoulder in defiance of terrorism and in defense of the fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens.”
A man identifying himself as Akram’s brother, Gulbar Akram, posted on Facebook about the incident, claiming that his brother had suffered from mental illness. He apologized “wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident,” and said that “any attack on any human being—be it a Jew, Christian or Muslim etc.—is wrong and should be condemned.”
Gulbar added that he had been in contact with American law enforcement and that the FBI was due to fly into the United Kingdom to continue its investigation. He also said the family was working to get Akram’s body back so they could hold his funeral in Britain.
The post was later removed from Facebook.