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UK police arrest two in relation to Texas synagogue hostage situation

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British police have arrested two teenagers in connection with an ongoing investigation into the Texas synagogue hostage situation. 

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said Counter Terror Police (CTP) detained the two teenagers in the south section of the city Sunday evening, adding they remain in custody as they await questioning.

“CTP North West and CTP International operations continues to assist the investigation being led by the US authorities, and police forces in the region are liaising with local communities to put in place any measures to provide further reassurance,” Manchester said in a statement. 

The four hostages at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, were released after an hours-long standoff with authorities at the synagogue on Saturday. 

The FBI on Sunday identified the hostage-taker as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram, who was pronounced dead on Saturday. 

Akram had demanded the release of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who is currently imprisoned in Texas for attempting to murder a U.S. soldier. 

In a statement Sunday, President Biden called the hostage situation an “act of terror,” applauding local authorities and the FBI for doing “one hell of a job” in responding to the situation.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday it remained unclear whether the hostage situation or Akram represented a broader threat. 

“It’s too soon to tell at this point what the full parameters of this act of terrorism, this act of anti-Semitism were,” Sullivan said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

He added that various law enforcement and intelligence agencies were looking into “what this person’s motives were and whether or not there are any further connections.”

Tags anti-semitism Congregation Beth Israel synagogue hostage situation Jake Sullivan Joe Biden Texas

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