Faiisal, 44, of Blackburn, was the gunman during the Texas hostage crisis. He was permitted to enter the US even though he was a career criminal as well as a religious extremist and was regularly at demonstrations calling for Muslim prisoners to be released.
Britain and the US were today accused of ‘dropping the ball’ after letting career criminal Malik Faisal Akram land in New York despite police alread his links to a religious sect banned in Saudi Arabia for attempts to ‘purify Islam’.
On Saturday, the terrorist Blackburn (44) was killed in Texas after holding Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville hostage for 10 hours. He claimed that he had a suicide bomb and took three members of his congregation and a rabbi hostage.
Today it emerged that Akram became known to counter-terrorism police after becoming ‘completely obsessed’ with Islam and displayed extreme and disruptive behaviour at Friday prayers during his most recent spell in prison.
He also attended anti-Israel marches at Guantanamo bay for Muslim prisoners. After being first placed behind bars as a juvenile delinquent in 1996, he spent 16 years in prison before deciding to follow his religion.
He was banned from the local court where he had been a frequent visitor. After the Saudi kingdom called the Tablighi Jamaat a ‘gateway into terrorism,’ he was reported to have been a frequent visitor to Pakistan.
One US senator, briefed on the case the Department for Homeland Security and a former Pentagon official, told The Daily Telegraph today: ‘Certainly someone let the ball drop.’
After a British Islamist traveled to the USA, security officials were charged with a grave ‘intelligence failure’. MailOnline can confirm that around a fortnight back police sought him out at his Manchester residence.
One of the hostages at the Congregation Beth Israel in, Colleyville, Texas
After arriving at JFK on January 2, the terrorist stayed for two nights in a hostel that was run by a Christian charity. The attack took place on January 15.
Malik Faisal Akram, who was known as Faisal Akram, had ranted that he wished he had died in the 9/11 terror attacks. His frequent visits to Pakistan were a result of his membership in the Tablighi Jamaat group. This was an attempt to ‘purify Islam’.
Akram’s family was shocked that Akram had been allowed to pass customs at New York’s JFK in the early hours of January 2.
It appears police had been looking for him. Two detectives arrived at his house around the same time. But he was not there.
A neighbour stated that about three-four weeks ago two detectives called his house asking for his help. The attempted contact could have been connected to plans for him to fly to the USA just days later, it was unclear.
Akram is a suspect in a number of crimes dating back to over 25 years ago.
After attacking his cousin with the bat of a baseball bat, as a teenager he ended up in borstal. In 1996, he went to prison for violent disorder.
A year later he was back in prison again, this time for the destruction of property, and then in 1999 for harassment. He is believed to have taken to selling drugs and was then in prison again in 2012 for stealing £5,000 in cash and phones. However, the investigation was stopped.
HMP Liverpool was the place where his journey to religious extremism began. He was also reported by prison Imam as having ‘concerning, disruptive behavior’ during Friday prayers.
Akram became a devout Muslim in 2017. Friends said that Akram’s condition worsened after a car accident where his back was broken and his head injured.
According to the Telegraph, the former neighbor said that he didn’t last see him until 2017, and then he suddenly looked like a religious scholar. There were rumours that the man used to sell drugs, but now there was speculation that something had happened.
“That’s the change [to wearing religious clothing]It was quite shocking. He suddenly looks religious and unlike any of his school friends. It made me wonder, “What is the point?”
He called him a radicalized person who became obsessed, completely obsessive about religion.
Bob Seely from Tory told MailOnline today that there had been an “incredible” mistake at US and UK borders. This was due to an ‘intelligence error’. It needed to all be addressed.
“This is clearly an example of poor intelligence sharing. He was given permission to visit the States to cause injury to others, which is truly obscene. Evidently, there has been an error somewhere,” he stated.
A senior member of parliament with expertise in security services expressed surprise at the lack of investigation. “How did this guy get in the USA?” They said. They added, “You’re picked up for walking across cracks on the pavement.”
Yesterday, his brother, Gulbar, demanded how he was allowed into America despite a long criminal record. Gulbar claimed that Malik was suffering from mental illness and was grieving his brother’s death three months back, who was reportedly from Covid.
Malik Faisal Akram arrived at New York’s JFK Airport in January. His arrival paperwork appear to show that his address is the same one as Queens Hotel, New York City. This hotel offers basic accommodations for $80 per night.
Between January 6th and 13th, he stayed at Dallas’ Christian charity’s homeless shelter. He was able to purchase a gun “on the streets” nearby.
He attacked the synagogue on January 15, asking for refuge, and was then shot by SWAT teams 10 hours later.
His family has revealed that Akram had been known to work with British counter-terrorism officers.
His brother asked him why the 44 year-old, convicted criminal had been allowed to travel to America. He held hostages four other people over the weekend.
Gulbar Akram posed the question: “How did you get to America?” What is the secret to his success? [did]He lands at JFK [in New York]Airport and you don’t get stopped?
He was supposed to be looking for police in Blackburn, his hometown (pictured), around the time he planned to travel to America.
The case was not discussed by MI5 or counter-terrorism officers. Questions were raised about why border controls failed to identify him as an extremist.
Last night, however, it was revealed that the police attempted to reach the hostage-taker just before he traveled to New York.
British detectives continued questioning two teens arrested in Manchester yesterday night in the Texas siege. Investigators from around the globe were trying urgently to determine if Akram, who was killed after his hostages fled, was part of an organised conspiracy.
Four members of his congregation were held hostage by Siddiqui while he demanded the release of Aafia Saidiqui, a terrorist convicted in the murder of Al Qaeda leader Lady Al Qaeda. Although the authorities tried to determine if there were any links between them, Siddiqui was taken into militant hands.
Akram, a young male who was involved in petty crimes as a teenager, had since cut himself from the tolerant faith of his family of moderate Muslims and adopted fundamentalist Islamic forms.
Gulbar Akram, his brother, said that Akram was sentenced to six months for violent disorder. He used a baseball bat in a fight with his cousins.
Because he was known for abusing his staff and hanging out at magistrates courts in the area, he became an infamous’menace’. According to yesterday’s Daily Mail report, he launched an outrageous rant against a judge, stating that he would have preferred to die on board one of the hijacked planes.
Akram, who was believed to have been married and had lived with six of his children in Manchester, later said that he had found Allah. After he left his father’s mosque, he began to attend meetings at the Tablighi Jamaat group to “purify” Islam.
Although it is considered a terrorist gate in Saudi Arabia, its 80 million supporters around the world insist that its teachings do not link to violence.
He was seen at Guantanamo’s demonstrations of Muslim prisoners as well as in support for Palestinian independence.
‘He became quite a religious guy,’ a neighbour said. He would tell someone off if he noticed them smoking.
Malik Faisal Akram, the second child of six, was born in Blackburn, where his father Malik Faisal Akram served as president at a mosque there after his father emigrated from Pakistan.
Gulbar (43 years old) last night attributed the terrorist attack to his brother’s mental illness. According to him, he was familiar with British counterterrorism officers. “How did he get into America?” he asked. He replied. He said, “Why did he get a visa?”
According to CNN’s law enforcement sources, Akram wasn’t on any US government watchlist. There was no terrorist threat information since the attack.
Evan Kohlmann is a Counter Terror Expert at Flashpoint’s computer security service Flashpoint. He said that there will be many questions about the ‘whereabouts’ of the US and UK systems. Commenting on Akram’s ‘obviously having a plan’, he said that ‘It wouldn’t blow me away to discover he had been recruited by Al Qaeda.
“There is an inclination to judge someone like this as an idiot. There’s no way that he could have been recruited. But, that’s unrealistic. You don’t need a PhD in order to murder someone.
Whitehall and police sources declined to confirm his identity to MI5 or officers.
Countdown for synagogue attack: British terrorist Faisal Ashram, 44, was sheltered in Christian homes and purchased ‘guns by the street’ shortly after arriving in New York.
Blackburn, the terrorist who attacked a Texas synagogue and was shot to death, had been staying in a Christian shelter for the past week. He also bought his gun “off the street” nearby.
Malik Faisal Akram (44), a Lancashire man, attacked Dallas for ten hours and took the rabbi, three other hostages, and demanded the release Lady Al Qaeda a convicted terrorist so that they would all die together.
Akram was believed to have touched down in New York on Jan 2, probably on a Manchester-bound flight. He received legal entry, even though he had a criminal record.
The address he gave on his arrival papers appears to be the same as the Queens Hotel in New York City, which offers basic accommodation for $80-a-night.
Although Akram said in the entry documents he would be staying there it is unclear if he actually did, with a receptionist at the hotel unable to say whether this was the case, the NY Times reported. The receptionist said FBI agents had reviewed its CCTV but found nothing useful.
The British Muslim crossed the country, likely by internal flight, next appearing at a Texan Christian charity asking for a bed for the night.
He stayed at the Union Gospel Mission in Dallas in the week before the terror attack, and was able to buy a handgun ‘off the street’, according to US President Joe Biden.
The shelter’s CEO Bruce Butler told CNN that staff saw him ‘come and go’ from January 6 – but he never mentioned religion or his plans to attack the synagogue.
Mr Butler said: ‘We were a way station for him. He had a plan. He was very quiet’, adding he left for the final time on January 13.
Police are trying to piece together what he did in the final 48 hours before launching the attack around 22 miles away from Union Gospel Mission on the morning of Saturday, January 15.
Police are piecing together the terrorist’s final movements after arriving at JFK airport by January 2 before staying in a homeless hostel run by a Christian charity before launching the attack on January 15
His arrival paperwork appears to have the exact same address as Queens Hotel New York City. This hotel offers basic accommodations for just $80-per-night. We don’t know if the address he gave on his arrival papers was actually that of Queens Hotel, New York.
The Covid-19 pandemic meant that a live stream of the service at the Synagogue was available online on Saturday, and he entered the building around 11:15.
He spread anti-Semitic abuses and demanded Aafia, a terrorist convicted in Pakistan, be freed.
The location of the attack is significant because she is being held in a jail about 20 miles from Colleyville, at FMC Carswell in Fort Worth.
Two more hostages ran out of the sidedoor, being chased by Akram, who was waving a gun. He ran in the opposite direction, spotting armed police and fled.
A rescue squad from the FBI stormed Akram’s building, firing shots and throwing stungrenades. Around 10:10 on Saturday night, Akram was killed in an explosion of bullets.
Gulbar, his brother, stated that he had worked with FBI agents to try and end the standoff. Last night, counter-terrorism police from the UK said they had been working in conjunction with US counterparts.
Gulbar posted on Facebook that his brother had mental issues and that they were positive that he wouldn’t harm hostages.
He claimed that he was in an incident area at Greenbank Police Station for a long time, “all night,” and had been liaising between Faisal Akram, the negotiators and FBI.
Gulbar stated that even though my brother had mental health problems, he was confident that he wouldn’t harm hostages.
“At about 3:00 am, the first person was released. An hour later, he released all three others through the fire door.
He said, “Another firefight took place, and he was killed and shot.” We could not have done or said anything to make him surrender.
Gulbar stated that Akram’s family was being contacted by the FBI on Sunday.
He added: “We also want to add that any attack against any human being, be they a Jew or Christian, Muslim, etc. is wrong and should be always condemned.”
Uninjured, one hostage was freed at 5pm local on Saturday. Others were released a short time later.
A local news crew captured dramatic footage of hostages running out from a synagogue door.
Rabbi Charlie Cytron Walker was also present at the service.
Akram is seen briefly leaving the scene while holding a gun before returning in.
Soon SWAT teams arrived and shot were heard.
Some congregation members were able to watch the drama live from their home via the stream.
Akram could be heard saying in a Northern English accent: ‘If anyone tries to enter this building, I’m telling you…everyone will die.’
Stacey Silverman, who is a member at synagogue said, “The perpetrator was totally deranged.
“He said that he carried a bomb in his bag and could explode it at will. It was terrifying and it continued for several hours. “I was scared.
ABC News reported Akram claimed that bombs were in place in an unspecified area and that explosives were in backpacks.
Rabbi Cytron Walker posted on Facebook: “I’m grateful we got it out.” Thankful to be alive.
As part of an investigation that has a ‘global reach,’ the FBI and the police from the area are currently liaising in London with the Metropolitan Police.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson stated that they were aware of the Texas death of a British citizen and had made contact with local authorities.
Dominic Scally Assistant Chief Constable Counter Terror Policing North West, stated authorities were assisting in the US Authorities’ investigation.
He said that police forces from the area would continue to communicate with local communities including the Jewish community and put in place all necessary steps to give them reassurance.
Sky News reports that Akram only just recently traveled to the US. This raises questions regarding why Akram targeted this synagogue.
Matthew DeSarno (FBI Special Agent) confirmed Akram as a British citizen, and said there’s no indication of other suspects.
Joe Biden, speaking on a Philadelphia trip said that “This was an attack of terror.”
Liz Truss, foreign secretary, posted: “My thoughts are with all the Jewish community in Texas.
“We condemn this act terrorism and anti-semitism. We support the US in standing up for our rights and freedoms against hate.
As the crisis was developing, Texas Department of Public Safety released this statement: “The man claimed that he and his brother will go to Jannah (Muslim beliefs of heaven), after seeing her.”
Akram said the chilling statement before the livestream was stopped: “I’m going to die today.” Are you listening? Ich will die. Ok? Ok? Okay, you don’t need to cry about me.
The reason Akram requested Siddiqui’s release is not clear. Siddiqui was in prison for 86-years after being arrested in Afghanistan for attempted murder of an American Army Captain in 2008.
Two kilos poison sodium cyanide was discovered in the possession of a Pakistani-born neuroscientist. He also had plans to attack New York’s Brooklyn Bridge or Empire State Building.
The brother of the woman was denied involvement by a lawyer who claimed he didn’t know why he was mentioned.
The attack comes amid rising anti-Semitic incidents in the US. Dallas Police Department and New York police increased their patrols at synagogues.
In 2018, a shooter shot 11 people dead and wounded six more at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, Pennsylvania during Shabbat Morning services.