on Thursday 20 January, 2022

UK police arrest two men over Texas hostage siege

by : AFP

LONDON (AFP) - British police on Thursday (Jan 20) arrested two men over their alleged roles in a hostage-taking by a British man at a synagogue in Texas last weekend.

The men were arrested in Birmingham in central England and in Manchester in north-western England on Thursday morning by counterterrorism officers, Greater Manchester Police said in a tweet.

The men are being questioned in custody by Counter Terrorism Policing North West.

A man from Blackburn in north-western England, 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, was shot dead during a 10-hour siege last Saturday.

The four hostages, including a rabbi, were all freed unharmed.

Media reports said Akram was investigated in 2020 by Britain's domestic security agency MI5, which shut down the probe after a little over a month due to a lack of evidence that he was a threat.

Reports say the hostage-taker was seeking the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist known as "Lady Al-Qaeda", whose detention has been a cause celebre for extremists.

British police on Sunday arrested two teenagers and searched a property in Manchester some 34km from Blackburn in connection with the siege but released them without charge.