International

Texas hostage-taker was known to British security officials

British security officials previously investigated the suspect involved in last weekend’s Texas synagogue hostage situation, considering him in 2020 to be a “subject of interest,” the BBC reported.

The British security service MI5 had previously investigated Malik Faisal Akram, whom the FBI identified last weekend as the man behind the hostage situation at a Colleyville, Texas synagogue, in the second half of 2020, the British broadcaster noted, which first broke the news. 

However, he was considered no longer a threat and moved to a list of people formerly considered a “subject of interest” in 2021. 

The United Kingdom’s Home Office declined to comment to The Hill regarding the probe.

A British security force told NBC News that an investigation hinged on information about his possible involvement in Islamic terrorism led to a month-long investigation that later lapsed because a threshold to continue probing had not been met.

The revelations come days after the British national held four people hostage and called for the release of U.S.-imprisoned Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui.

After an hours-long standoff, all four people were safely released, and Akram’s death was confirmed by authorities. The Post noted that the cause of Akram’s death was not immediately clear. 

Though President Biden on Sunday pronounced Akram’s acts as “an act of terror,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that “it’s too soon to tell at this point what the full parameters of this act of terrorism, this act of anti-Semitism were.”

Updated at 2:25 p.m.

International