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Texas synagogue terrorist was reportedly investigated in the UK in 2020

Congregation Beth Israel hostage taker, identified as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram. (Courtesy)
Congregation Beth Israel hostage taker, identified as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram. (Courtesy)

British media report today that an armed man who took four people hostage during a 10-hour standoff at a Texas synagogue on Saturday was previously investigated in the UK for being a potential terror threat.

UK media outlets, including the Guardian, report that Malik Faisal Akram had been under investigation by the domestic security service, MI5, as a possible “terrorist threat” in 2020. The investigation was closed after authorities concluded Akram posed no threat, the reports say.

Britain’s Home Office did not immediately comment on the reports.

Akram, 44, had spent time in Texas homeless shelters in the two weeks leading up to the attack, and was dropped off at one by someone he appeared to know. The hostage taker was brought to the shelter in downtown Dallas on Jan. 2 by a man who hugged him and had conversations with him, says Wayne Walker, CEO and pastor of OurCalling, which provides services to homeless people.

“He was dropped off by somebody that looked like he had a relationship with him,” says Walker, who says he turned photos and video over to the FBI.

Akram was killed after the remaining three hostages ran out of the building on Saturday evening. Authorities have declined to say who shot Akram, saying it was still under investigation.

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