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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. 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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China

Chinese Spy Balloon: Tensions rise between the U.S. and China

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A strange object was spotted Wednesday over Billings Montana. The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the strange object was, in fact, a Chinese spy balloon. According to a report from KPAX, a western Montana news outlet, the balloon had been on the governments radar for days.

On Friday, the Chinese government released a statement saying that the balloon spotted in Billings is a “civilian airship” that’s sole purpose is used to collect research on weather and that it had just blown off course. The balloon was not shot down by orders of the Pentagon due to the risk of falling debris injuring people on the ground.

Sara Carter, who has spoken frequently on the Chinese government’s threat and expansion to the West, stated on Twitter that the United States has failed to stop China from purchasing land near military installations, vital agricultural land, as well as, allowing Chinese linked companies, such as Huawei, to install technology in cellular towers. Those cellular towers are located in Montana, along side more than 150 ICBM nuclear silos.

China said, “The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure.” Majeure meaning that it was out of there control. It blew off course due to limited “self-steering” capabilities according the Ministry. The ministry also stated that the balloon, “deviated far from its planned course.”

This incident is adding fuel to the fire of what is already a tense relationship between the worlds two largest economies. China already lays claim to approximately 80% of the South China Sea, and is seeking full control over Taiwan after assuming full control of Hong Kong. China’s belt and road initiative has invested copious amounts of money into building infrastructure in other countries and uses it as economic blackmail. China’s transportation of fentanyl into Mexico is yet again another example of how they are seeking to damage the US.

Is this just a weather ballon that blew off course? US officials at the White House seem to be unconvinced and will continue to monitor the balloon, as reported.

UPDATED: Statement from the Pentagon was jaw dropping when a reporter asked if the public has a right to know about Beijing’s balloon.

“The public certainly has the ability to look up in the sky and see where the balloon is,” a DOD official responded.

 

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