Police release one man arrested over Texas synagogue stand-off

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Police release one man arrested over Texas synagogue stand-off

The other man held on Tuesday by officers probing Malik Faisal Akram’s attack remains in custody, Greater Manchester Police said.

Congregation Beth Israel
Congregation Beth Israel

One of two men arrested in Manchester as part of the investigation into the Texas synagogue siege has been released.

The other man held on Tuesday by officers probing Malik Faisal Akram’s attack remains in custody, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.

Akram, 44, originally from Blackburn in Lancashire, was shot dead when the FBI entered the place of worship in Colleyville on January 15 following a 10-hour stand-off.

Four hostages were unharmed.

A GMP spokesman, who said the arrests were “part of the local investigation”, added: “Communities defeat terrorism, and the help and support we get from the public is a vital part of that.

“We urge everyone to remain vigilant, and if you do see anything suspicious then please report it, in confidence, to police via the anti-terrorist hotline or gov.uk/ACT.

“It won’t ruin lives but it may well save them.”

FBI director Christopher Wray called the stand-off an anti-Semitic incident, while US President Joe Biden said it was an “act of terror”.

The FBI said Akram was not known to US intelligence services, with the agency conducting “rigorous” analysis of Akram’s associates, his online presence, and his devices.

Akram flew to New York on December 29 before later travelling to Texas and entering the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue.

Akram, who is understood to have had a criminal record, was investigated by the UK’s security service MI5 in 2020 but deemed not to be a credible threat to national security, official sources confirmed to the PA news agency.

It is not yet clear how he was able to travel to the US despite his criminal past.

The FBI said it is “working hard” to learn more about how Akram acquired the firearm he possessed.

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