Texas hostage-taker had mental health issues, says brother

Malik Faisal Akram's brother apologises to the victims involved in the 'unfortunate incident'



Law enforcement process at the scene in front of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. — AP
Law enforcement process at the scene in front of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. — AP

By Reuters

Published: Mon 17 Jan 2022, 12:18 AM

Last updated: Mon 17 Jan 2022, 1:37 AM

A British citizen, who was killed at a Texas synagogue after he took four people hostages inside a synagogue, suffered from mental illness, his brother said on Sunday.

The FBI identified the man as Malik Faisal Akram, 44, who was killed after the safe release of his four hostages on Saturday night from the synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.

US President Joe Biden earlier on Sunday said the gunman had used weapons he got off the street to commit “an act of terror”.

His brother Gulbar posted on Facebook that the suspect, from the industrial town of Blackburn, in the north of England, suffered from mental illness and said the family had spent all night at the Blackburn police station “liaising with Faisal, the negotiators, FBI etc”.

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“There was nothing we could have said to him or done that would have convinced him to surrender,” Gulbar wrote on the Blackburn Muslim Community’s Facebook page.

He said the FBI was due to fly into the UK “later today,” saying that the family as a result could say little more.

“We would like to say that we as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident,” the brother wrote.

The hostage-taking in Colleyville, Texas, “was an act of terror”, said Biden, who was in Philadelphia with first lady Jill Biden packing carrots and apples at a food bank in a visit to the city to honour the legacy of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.


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