The Union on Sunday identified the gunman who was shot dead after take four hostages in 10 hours of dramatic stalemate at a Texas synagogue as Malik Faisal Akram, 44, a British citizen.
The Blackburn Muslim Community in the UK confirmed Akram’s death in a Facebook post on Sunday afternoon, asking the community to “avoid participating in the sin of turning away” as authorities continue to investigate the attack, which President Joe Biden has called “an act of terrorism.”
The group shared a statement from Akram’s brother, identified as Gulbar, condemning the attack.
“We would like to say that we as a family do not tolerate any of his actions and sincerely apologize to all the victims involved in this unfortunate incident.” he wrote.
Hours before the FBI’s announcement, a spokesman for the British Foreign Office said it was “aware of the death of a British man in Texas and is in contact with local authorities”.
“The FBI’s Evidence Response Team (ERT) will continue to process evidence at the synagogue,” the FBI wrote in its statement. “At this time, there is no indication that other individuals are involved. The FBI’s North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force (NTJTTF), which includes member agencies from across the region, will continue to monitor investigative directions. An FBI Shooting Incident Review Team (SIRT) will conduct a thorough, factual, and objective investigation of the events. ”
On Saturday morning, Akram stormed into Beth Israel Church in Colleyville and at one point was heard a live video stream in front of four hostages, demanding the release of Pakistani neurologist Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted and jailed for attempting to kill U.S. Army officers in Afghanistan.
The four hostages were finally safely freed after an 11-hour standoff, which ended when an FBI SWAT team entered the synagogue and killed the gunman.
According to Gulbar’s statement, the family became aware of Akram’s involvement in the crisis. They said that despite his “mental health problems”, they believed he would not harm his detainees.
According to Gulbar’s post, the FBI is expected to fly to the UK and meet the family later today.