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Two more arrested in UK as part of TX synagogue terror attack investigation



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Two more individuals have been arrested as part of the investigation into Malik Faisal Akram, the man who took hostages at a Texas synagogue last weekend. U.K. terrorism police announced Thursday that the additional individuals were arrested.

Two different teens were detained in South Manchester just one day after Akram’s terror attack in Colleyville, Texas. The teens were released Wednesday without charges after three nights in custody, reports Fox News.

Greater Manchester Police shared an update from the Counter Terrorism Policing North West, that the men arrested for questioning Thursday morning were in Birmingham and Manchester.

Fox News states “several reports” said the two teens detained were Akram’s sons, but police have not confirmed that. Terrorism police have also searched a North Manchester address as part of the investigation.

U.K. terrorism police say they are continued to “support U.S. authorities with their investigation into the events in Texas” and will further “liaise with and support colleagues from other forces.”

Domestically, the FBI has stated its investigations are extending to London and Tel Aviv in order to determine if Akram acted alone or as part of a larger terror cell. During the 11 hour hostage standoff, Akram demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani terrorist in prison in Ft. Worth, known as “Lady Al Qaeda.”

Akram also reached out to a New York City-based Rabbi, Angela Buchdahl, who runs Reform Judaism. Akram wanted her to “use her influence to persuade authorities to release Siddiqui from prison” reports Fox News. Buchdahl told her congregation she had never had any prior connection to Akram.

Among the investigations into Akram, authorities are trying to figure out how he managed to travel to the U.S. last year. He reportedly flew into New York’s JFK, but he had a criminal record that went back decades, and was on the U.K.’s terror watch list for his extreme beliefs.

Akram was raised by his Pakistani parents in Lancashire, England, which is among the many Muslim communities in the U.K. experiencing radicalization. Once in Dallas, Akram stayed at Dallas-area homeless shelters in the days leading up to the hostage incident.

A pastor says he witnessed Akram being “dropped off” at one of the facilities by a man who hugged him and clearly appeared to know him. The pastor handed over video and photos to the FBI.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. John Bayer

    January 21, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    “Among the investigations into Akram, authorities are trying to figure out how he managed to travel to the U.S. last year. He reportedly flew into New York’s JFK, but he had a criminal record that went back decades, and was on the U.K.’s terror watch list for his extreme beliefs.”

    Government fails. It screws up. And that’s a less-paranoid response than might be given.

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U.S., Israeli officials fear most hostages taken by Hamas on Oct 7 are dead



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A Wall Street Journal report states that U.S. and Israeli officials fear that most of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas since October 7 are dead, despite talks to secure a hostage release deal and a temporary truce occurring in Cairo.

While the IDF has confirmed the deaths of 34 of the 129 remaining hostages abducted by Hamas on October 7, citing intelligence and findings obtained by troops operating in Gaza, the report said that “Israeli and American officials estimate privately that the number of deaths could be much higher.”

US officials quoted in the report said some hostages may have been killed by Israeli strikes on Gaza amid the ongoing war, while others had died of health issues, including injuries suffered during their abduction.

Some US estimates indicate that most of the hostages are already dead, American officials familiar with the intelligence told the paper, while stressing that US information on the hostages is limited and depends in part on Israeli intel.

Officials believe hostages who are still alive are being used as human shields surrounding the group’s leadership, hidden deep in Gaza tunnels, the report said.

Hamas has indicated recently that it is unable to provide 40 living hostages in the category set for initial release under a potential hostage deal — women, children, the elderly, or those requiring medical attention.

The release of other hostages including adult men and captured soldiers is under a separate category, reports the Times of Israel which has gathered the following press reports:

According to Kan news, Israel has insisted that 40 living hostages must be freed under any first phase, and that Hamas must make up for any shortage in one category with individuals from another.

According to Channel 12 news, Mossad chief David Barnea, Israel’s top official involved the negotiations, told cabinet ministers on Wednesday that freeing all 133 captives and remains held in Gaza in a single truce agreement would be impossible, and that at best 40 people could be freed in a first phase.

Of the 253 hostages kidnapped during Hamas’s October 7 attacks, in which terrorists slaughtered some 1,200 people, 105 civilians were released from Hamas captivity during a weeklong truce in late November, and four hostages were released prior to that. Three hostages have been rescued by troops alive, and the bodies of 12 hostages have also been recovered, including three mistakenly killed by the military.

One more person is listed as missing since October 7, and their fate is still unknown. Hamas is also holding the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin since 2014, as well as two Israeli civilians, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who are both thought to be alive after entering the Strip of their own accord in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

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