Sources say that the terrorist who held hostages at a Texas synagogue said in 2021 that he wanted "to kill Jews."
On Saturday, an hours-long hostage situation unfolded at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. No hostages were hurt, and the assailant was killed by police.
In his last phone call to his brother, the terrorist was heard ranting about Jews, and discussing martyrdom.
In the days since the hostage situation, authorities have been working to establish what exactly motivated 44-year-old British citizen Malik Faisal Akram to come to America and carry out the crime.
According to the Jewish Chronicle, a local councillor in the UK reported Akram to police in 2021 after he was heard stating that he wanted to kill Jews, and thought they should be "bombed" during a meeting in May to discuss rising tensions between Israel and Gaza. Despite the seriousness of the accusations, no further action was taken by authorities.
"The only shock," the councillor who reported Akram said, "was that he went so far, to the US, to execute his views. My worry was that he would do something stupid in this country and will bring a bad name to the whole community."
As the Jewish Chronicle reports, security experts are flabbergasted as to how allegations against Akram could have been dismissed, given his lengthy criminal past.
According to the Associated Press, Akram had been investigated as a potential terrorist threat in 2020 as well, but the investigation was closed after MI5 deemed him not to pose any danger.
Despite all these prior warnings, the White House said in a press conference this week that the United States "did not have any derogatory information" about Akram that would have raised any red flags when he entered the country earlier this month.
"This was an act of terror," Biden said during a press conference following the incident. He vowed to speak with the synagogue's rabbi on how his administration can support houses of worship with "the antisemitism that's ramping up."