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Texas hostage-taker's Pak link being probed; was supporter of Tablighi Jamaat

1/17/2022
The British Muslim man shot dead after taking worshippers hostage in a Texas synagogue at gunpoint ranted about wishing he had died in the 9/11 attacks, the Daily Mail reported.

As the police in the US and the UK scramble to find if he was part of a wider terror cell, it has emerged that Malik Faisal Akram, 44, from Blackburn, Lancashire, was branded a 'menace' for expressing his desire to be onboard one of the planes that destroyed the World Trade Centre in 2001.

Akram's links to Pakistan are also being probed, having been a regular visitor to the country where his father was born. He was reportedly a supporter of the conservative Tablighi Jamaat group, set up to 'purify' Islam. It denies being a terror group -- but its members are banned from Saudi Arabia after the organisation was branded ‘one of the gates of terrorism' by the Gulf state, the Daily Mail reported.

The terror suspect was given a rare Exclusion Order at Blackburn's magistrates' court -- the first in 25 years -- for raving about 9/11, just days after the attack that claimed more than 2,750 lives.

The incident 20 years ago raises questions about whether he was known to the security services on either side of the Atlantic -- and how he managed to get into the United States two weeks ago with a significant criminal record, the report said.

Speaking to FBI agents, he had also demanded the release of jailed female terrorist Aafia Siddiqu -- known as Lady Al Qaeda -- and that she be brought to the synagogue so they could both 'die together'.

He referred to her as his 'sister' during the attack, but the pair are not related. She is being held in a jail about 20 miles from Colleyville.

After agreeing to release one of his hostages, two more hostages were seen running out of a side door, chased by Akram waving a handgun. Soon afterwards, an FBI rescue team stormed the building and Akram later died in a hail of bullets at around 10 pm on Saturday night.

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