Texas Synagogue Hostage Taker Dead After Standoff

Texas Police reported that the suspect who held four people hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas has been killed.

“Around 9 p.m., the HRT — hostage rescue team — breached the synagogue, they rescued the three hostages, the suspect is deceased,” said Colleyville Police Chief Michael Miller.

At around 10:40 a.m. local time, an unidentified man took four hostages during a live-streamed morning service at the Congregation Beth Israel who later released one hostage about 5 p.m.

SWAT officers with the Colleyville Police Department, as well as officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety and FBI, were dispatched to the scene but did not immediately engage with the suspect.

Colleyville Police Sgt. Dara Nelson said that an FBI negotiator was dispatched to the scene but talks with the suspect were not fruitful.

Authorities initially believed that the hostage-taking was linked to the movement to free Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence at a facility in Texas. 

A hostage rescue team eventually stormed the synagogue and managed to kill the hostage-taker without compromising the safety of the hostages inside.  

Police said the hostages were uninjured and that they have identified the suspect. 

“I am grateful to the tireless work of law enforcement at all levels who acted cooperatively and fearlessly to rescue the hostages,” said US President Joe Biden. 

The FBI identified the hostage-taker as Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British national who arrived Legally in the US 5 weeks ago.

Siddiqui denied that Akram was affiliated with her so It is not clear why he took the synagogue hostage.

“She does not want any violence perpetrated against any human being, especially in her name. It obviously has nothing to do with Dr. Siddiqui or her family,” said Marwa Elbially, Siddiqui’s legal counsel. 

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