Texas synagogue standoff

Texas Synagogue Hostage-Taker Was Known to UK Intelligence Before He Flew to US

The gunman in Saturday's standoff was probed over suspected terrorist links, but the case was closed by the time he traveled to the United States

Police stand in front of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue, Jan. 16, 2022, in Colleyville, Texas.
Brandon Wade/AP

A British man who held four people hostage at a synagogue in Texas on Saturday was known to U.K. intelligence, a British security source told NBC News.

Malik Faisal Akram, 44, was probed over suspected terrorist links but the case was closed by the time he traveled to the United States because it didn’t meet the threshold for further investigation, the security source said. Akram was named by the FBI as the gunman in the 11-hour standoff at the Congregation Beth Israel that culminated in the hostages escaping unharmed before he was killed by federal agents.

Akram, who is from Lancashire in northwest England, was the subject of a short, low-level investigation by the U.K.'s MI5 domestic intelligence agency in the second half of 2020, the security source said. It lasted over a month and was based on information that he may have been involved in Islamist terrorism, the source added.

When there was no indication of a terrorist threat, the source said, Akram joined approximately 40,000 other closed “subjects of interest” in Britain who have been investigated but not found to be plotting terrorist attacks. 

Read the full story at NBCNews.com.

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