Britain’s counter-terrorism police arrested two men on Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation into a case of being held hostage at a synagogue in Texas.
A British man was arrested almost a week after holding four prisoners of war for 11 hours in a synagogue on the outskirts of Fort Worth.
Greater Manchester Police said in a statement that the two men were arrested early in the morning in Birmingham, about 120 miles northwest of London, and Manchester, about 86 miles north.
The department said the two men were detained for questioning until 3 a.m. EST on Thursday. They were not charged.
“Police officers from the Counter Terrorism Policing North West are supporting U.S. authorities in their ongoing investigation into the incident in Texas,” the Greater Manchester Police Department said in a statement.
It’s unclear how the two men could have been linked to a Saturday confrontation between authorities and Malik Faisal Akram, 44, at Congregation Beth Israel, a reform synagogue in the city of Colleyville. The case culminated with the hostages escaping unharmed, and Akram, a native of Lancashire in northwest England, was murdered by federal agents.
The FBI said it was believed that Akram acted alone.
Malik Faisal Akram at the Faith-Based Weekly Outreach Center in Dallas, January 2, 2022. Akram, 44, died during a confrontation on Saturday.OurCalling LLC / via Reuters
Akram demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui during a lengthy hostage situation, according to three senior law enforcement officers briefed on the situation. Akram was shot and killed by the FBI hostage rescue team, according to a senior law enforcement official.
Siddiqui, 49, was convicted by a federal jury in 2010 of attempting to murder an American officer in Afghanistan and is held at FMC Carswell, a federal prison in Fort Worth. Her sentence was supplemented by an intensification of terrorism.
A British security source told NBC News that Akram was known to British intelligence sources. He was investigated for potential terrorist connections, but did not meet the threshold of further investigation, so the case was closed when he traveled to the United States, the source said.
On Sunday, British authorities detained two teenagers in connection with the case, and a senior law enforcement officer told NBC News that the teenagers were Akrams’ sons. The teenagers were imprisoned for questioning, but were released without charge, British authorities said.
Officials said Akram had contacted his sons at some point during a hostage situation on Saturday.
Police did not disclose the identity of the 20-year-old detained.
The FBI continues to investigate the incident as a “terror-related issue, a case that targets the Jewish community.”
Contributed by Doha Madani, Dennis Romero and Yuliya Talmazan.
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