After widespread ridicule, the Federal Bureau of Investigation late last night backed away from its initial claim that the 10-hour hostage crisis at a Texas synagogue on Saturday was not “specifically related to the Jewish community.”
The FBI Sunday night released a statement admitting that the incident was “a terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted.”
Meanwhile, it has now been revealed that 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram was “known to police” in the United Kingdom, but was somehow able to obtain a Visa to come to the United States.
Following the standoff, FBI Special Agent in Charge Matt DeSarno initially said, “We do believe from our engagement with this subject that he was singularly focused on one issue, and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community. But we’re continuing to work to find motive and we will continue on that path. In terms of the resolution of the incident, the hostage taker is deceased.”
DeSarno added: “We are continuing to work to find motive.”
Akram had chosen a Jewish venue in Colleyville, Texas—on the Sabbath—to demand the release of a Pakistani terrorist, dubbed “Lady al Qaida,” who was convicted of trying to kill U.S. Army officers in Afghanistan.
Biden's FBI: The Islamist terrorist, who held Jews hostage at a Texas synagogue, on Sabbath, was “singularly focused on one issue” that was not “specifically related to the Jewish community.
He then adds “We are continuing to work to find motive.” pic.twitter.com/RUPFhORWbs
— Ari Hoffman (@thehoffather) January 16, 2022
As the hostage situation was playing out Saturday, Michigan’s attorney general, Democrat Dana Nessel, speculated that white supremacists were behind the attack, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday afternoon, about an hour after it had been reported that the attacker was demanding the release of imprisoned terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, Nessel said her “biggest concern” was that the attack was a “hate crime” or “domestic terrorism,” pointing to “white supremacy organizations.”
“We have seen an incredible rise in rhetoric that is anti-Semitic being trafficked all around the country,” Nessel said, noting “an exponential rise in the formation and the membership of these extremist organizations, many of which are white supremacy organizations, and they traffic in hatred against Jews and other minorities.”
“If it does turn out that is the motivating factor here, it would hardly be a surprise,” Nessel added.
This narrative collapsed as more facts came out, and by Sunday evening, Fox News host Shannon Bream reported on Twitter that the FBI had changed its story: “This is a terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted, and is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force,” the new statement read.
During the hostage crisis, Akram allegedly demanded Siddiqui’s release in exchange for four hostages.
One hostage was released shortly before 5 p.m. local time, while the other three hostages were freed as the FBI executed a strike on Akram, killing him.
CNN reported that British authorities arrested two Manchester, England, teenagers in connection with the Texas incident.
The unnamed teenagers are being held for questioning at the time of this reporting, and it is unknown what role they may have played in planning the attack.
Akram was well known to police in the UK, and had been banned from the Blackburn Magistrates’ Court in 2001 for “repeatedly threatening and abusing the court staff,” the UK Sun reported. Since then, he’s been jailed for changing the identities of stolen vehicles and then selling them.
Akram’s brother, Gulbar issued a statement on Saturday saying the family was “devastated” by the incident in Texas.
Gulbar confirmed in an interview with Sky News that his brother was “known to police” and argued that he should not have been allowed into the United States.
“He’s known to police. Got a criminal record. How was he allowed to get a visa and acquire a gun?” he asked.