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Texas synagogue hostage incident: Two men arrested in Manchester

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At least two individuals have been detained in connection with the Texas synagogue hostage situation that occurred 10 days ago.

The incident was carried out by British hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram, who was slain by American police following a 10-hour standoff.

When the FBI entered the house of worship in Colleyville on January 15, Akram, 44, who was originally from Blackburn in Lancashire, was shot and killed.

He had four persons kidnapped, but they were ultimately freed without injury.

‘Officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North West are continuing their investigation following the events in Texas,’ Counter Terrorism Policing North West said in a statement on Wednesday. They are collaborating with and assisting US law authorities.

‘Two individuals were detained this morning in Manchester as part of a local inquiry. They are being held in jail pending further investigation.

‘We continue to collaborate closely with colleagues from other forces,’ says the statement.

The pair’s identities have not been revealed, however Metro.co.uk has requested Greater Manchester Police to confirm whether or not they are British.

Meanwhile, two individuals detained on January 20 in Birmingham and Manchester as part of the same investigation have been freed with no further action.

President Joe Biden called the attack a “terrorist act,” while FBI Director Christopher Wray called it anti-Semitic.

The FBI claims to be conducting a “rigorous” investigation of Akram’s acquaintances, as well as his internet habits and gadgets.

He had only been in the United States for less than three weeks when the incident occurred, having traveled into New York on December 29 and then to Texas, where he entered the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue.

MI5 examined Akram, who is said to have a criminal background, in 2020.

However, at the time, he was not considered a genuine danger to national security.

It’s unclear how he was permitted to fly to the United States despite his criminal record in the United Kingdom.

The FBI claimed it is ‘working hard’ to figure out how Akram got his hands on the weapon he had.

 

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