Two teenagers arrested in UK over 10-hour Texas synagogue siege

A British man was shot dead in the US during the stand-off.

A British man has been shot dead after he flew to the US, bought a weapon and held people hostage in a 10-hour stand-off at a synagogue in Texas.

Malik Faisal Akram, originally from Blackburn in Lancashire, was shot dead by the FBI when they entered the building on Saturday (15 January) night.

Sign up to our LiverpoolWorld Today newsletter

Police have also arrested two teenagers in Manchester over the incident.

Officers from Counter Terror Policing North West made two arrests in south Manchester on Sunday (16 January) evening, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.

The teenagers, whose ages and genders have not been confirmed, remain in custody for questioning.

Police forces in the region are liaising with local communities to put in place any measures to provide further reassurance.

What happened at the Texas synagogue siege?

The siege began at around 11am local time at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in the suburb of Dallas.

Akram reportedly gained access to the building by claiming to be homeless, according to reports in the US.

The hostage situation then lasted around 10 hours, with the synagogue’s rabbi among the hostages.

One of the people held in the building was released after six hours with the other three led to safety by the police hours later. None of the four hostages were harmed.

The FBI stormed the building and killed Akram on Saturday evening.

It is believed that Akram demanded the release of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui.

He was convicted of trying to kill US army officers in Afghanistan, and is in prison in Texas.

Akram is believed to have had a visa and arrived at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York around two weeks ago.

'An act of terror'

The hostage situation has been called “an act of terror” by the US PresidentJoe Biden, with the authorities in America and the UK working on the investigation.

Mr Biden said in an update on the incident that while they did not have all of the details yet, it was believed that the British man “got the weapons on the street”.

He said: “He purchased them when he landed.”

The US President added that there were “no bombs that we know of” and Akram is believed to have “spent the first night in a homeless shelter”.

Family 'do not condone any of his actions'

Akram’s family released a statement saying they were “absolutely devastated” by the incident and that they “do not condone any of his actions”.

The statement, which was attributed to Akram’s brother Gulbar and shared on the Blackburn Muslim Community Facebook page, added that the hostage-taker “was suffering from mental health issues”.

Gulbar was also involved in negotiating from the UK with his brother during the siege.

Akram’s family said in the statement: “We would like to say that we as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologise wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident.”

A version of this article originally appeared on NationalWorld.com