Malik Faisal Akram, the 44-year-old British national of Pakistani origin, who was gunned down by the FBI after taking four people hostage inside a Texas synagogue was reportedly a member of the Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic organisation banned by Saudi Arabia and had travelled abroad for works related to the organisation.
Police in the United States and the United Kingdom are investigating his ties to Pakistan, as he was a frequent visitor to the nation where his father was born. Akram’s family has, however, denied his links with Pakistan saying that he was radicalised locally in Blackburn.
According to official sources based in London, Akram hailed from the Jhelum district in Punjab, Pakistan, and his family had emigrated to the UK nearly 50 years ago. He was currently living in Blackburn, a large industrial town located in Lancashire, England. He was married to a Gujarati Muslim woman and has five sons and a daughter.
His father is well-known in London’s Muslim community, and his family has political ties through to Malik Irfan, a Labor Party councillor.
In addition, Akram briefly headed the Rondell Street Islamic Centre in London, also known as Reza Masjid, where primarily Muslims of Pakistani origin worshipped.
He is a known participant in pro-Palestine demonstrations and rallies for Guantanamo Bay detainees, and he supports Jihad.
Malik Faisal Akram the 12-hour siege at the synagogue in Texas was banned for raving about 9/11 just hours after the attack
Reports suggest that earlier, Akram was prevented from entering Blackburn Magistrates’ Court after threatening and assaulting court officials on multiple occasions. He was said to often wreak havoc in the courtroom, even though he wasn’t scheduled to appear before the judge. The Lancashire judges’ committee decided to ban him after giving him a warning for raving about the 9/11 tragedy just hours after the heinous terror attack that claimed over 3,000 lives.
In what traspired, Akram had stormed in during a live-streamed Sabbath service and kept members of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville captive for almost 12 hours. He had allegedly demanded to speak to jailed terror mastermind Aafia Siddiqui, known as Lady Al-Qaeda.
It may be noted that Aafia Siddiqui, also known as Lady Al Qaeda, was married to the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a Pakistani national and the prime accused in the 9/11 attack. Several pan-Islamic jihadist groups have made attempts in the past to secure the release of Siddiqui
Meanwhile, according to media reports, the early stages of the siege were live-streamed on the synagogue’s Facebook page, which was broadcasting the day’s service when the gunman stormed in. Faisal, who was reportedly armed with “backpacks containing explosives”, had demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui — who police say he referred to as his sister.
After agreeing to release one of his hostages, two others were spotted fleeing through a side door, being pursued by Akram, who was brandishing a handgun. An FBI rescue team assaulted the building shortly after, and Akram was killed in a shower of bullets at 10 pm on Saturday night.