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News Jan 16, 2022 11:28 PM EST

UK police arrest two teenagers in connection with Texas synagogue hostage standoff

The Greater Manchester Police said in a statement posted to Twitter, "As part of the ongoing investigation into the attack that took place at a Synagogue in Texas on 15 January 2022, Officers from the Counter Terror Policing North West have made two arrests in relation to the incident."

UK police arrest two teenagers in connection with Texas synagogue hostage standoff
Ari Hoffman Seattle, WA

Police in the United Kingdom arrested two teenagers Sunday who were allegedly connected to the hostage-taking at Congregation Bath Israel in Colleyville, Texas this weekend.

The Greater Manchester Police said in a statement posted to Twitter, "As part of the ongoing investigation into the attack that took place at a Synagogue in Texas on 15 January 2022, Officers from the Counter Terror Policing North West have made two arrests in relation to the incident."

The statement added that "Two teenagers were detained in South Manchester this evening. They remain in custody for questioning."

The statement followed Malik Faisal, a British national, having been identified as the suspect by the FBI in the hostage-taking at the synagogue on Saturday.

The standoff lasted 11 hours, part of which was captured on the synagogue’s live stream of Sabbath services and ended in the 4 hostages, which included the synagogue’s rabbi, escaping unharmed and Akram being shot by the authorities.

Akram was heard on the live stream demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year prison sentence in Texas for attempting murder American service members in Afghanistan.

FBI Dallas said in an emailed statement, "The FBI's Evidence Response Team (ERT) will continue processing evidence at the synagogue.  At this time, there is no indication that other individuals are involved."

Meeting with press in Philadelphia on Sunday, President Joe Biden said that the deceased suspect had previously been arrested 15 years ago and was jailed for 10 years. He noted that he may have stayed in a homeless shelter after landing in the US.

Biden said that Akram obtained the weapon used on Saturday "on the street," possibly within the homeless community, but he was still getting more information, according to Fox News.

"This was an act of terror," Biden said, praising the FBI. Biden vowed that he would speak with the synagogue's rabbi on how his administration can support houses of worship with "the antisemitism that's ramping up."

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