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Texas Synagogue: A brother urged a Texas kidnapper to dedicate himself

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  • Texas Synagogue: A brother urged a Texas kidnapper to dedicate himself

A British gunman who arrested four people in a Texas synagogue has been urged to surrender to his brother on his last call, a report said.

The recorded audio of the conversation was obtained by the Jewish Chronicle.

On the phone, gunman Malik Faisal Akram addressed his family in Blackburn during the siege, telling his brother he was “going to die”.

Two men were arrested in Manchester and Birmingham on Thursday morning in connection with the attack, police said.

Akram, 44, was shot dead by the FBI after a 10-hour altercation in Colleyville, near Dallas, with all four hostages unharmed.

He entered the synagogue of the Beth Israel Church in the morning service and pretended to be homeless, before pulling out a gun.
In the clip Akram is heard speaking abusively of the Semites as his attitude deteriorates and tensions in the synagogue increase.

It also highlights the efforts made by Akram’s brother Gulbar to surrender – as he repeatedly tried to talk to him to surrender, telling him that his captors were innocent and asked him to think about his children.

But the gunman tells his brother that he is determined to die and wants to “go down as a martyr”.

“I’ve only been here two weeks and I found them all pointed at guns,” he said, later adding: “I’m coming home with a body bag.”

The recording of the phone was found in a security source, the Jewish Chronicle reported. The BBC cannot verify its authenticity but experts believe it to be true.
With a steady, thick four-letter sound, Akram rebels against Jews and US military actions in the Middle East.

He repeatedly called for the release of Pakistani neurologist Aafia Siddiqui, who was detained at a nearby Fort Worth. He is serving an 86-year prison sentence for attempted murder of US troops in Afghanistan.

Akram also tells his brother: “I prayed to Allah for two years for this.”

MI5 had investigated Akram 18 months ago but decided not to endanger national security.

He was listed by the British security service as “an interesting topic” by 2020 and was investigated in the second half of that year.

But by 2021 Akram, who had a criminal record in the UK, had moved from the active list to the “interest topics” and was no longer considered a threat.
He is thought to have arrived in the US at JFK International Airport in New York two weeks before the siege, according to police sources, and is believed to have bought weapons used in the “street” incident after his arrival.

Akram’s brother Gulbar apologized to the victims, and said his brother was suffering from mental health problems.

Akram’s friends in Blackburn also said his mental health had been deteriorating and expressed surprise that he had been able to travel to the US.

U.S. President Joe Biden described the kidnapping as “an act of terror”, with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss calling it “anti-Semitism” – a view echoed by the British Islamic Council, which expressed its solidarity with the Jewish community.

Greater Manchester police said the men arrested on Thursday were still being held in custody for questioning.

Two boys who had previously been detained south of Manchester as part of an investigation have been released without charge.