WASHINGTON: The FBI identified a hostage taker killed at a Texas synagogue as a British citizen, after President Joe Biden earlier on Sunday said the gunman had used weapons he got off the street to commit “an act of terror.”
The FBI identified the man as Malik Faisal Akram, 44, who was killed after the safe release of his four hostages on Saturday night. The incident in Colleyville, Texas, “was an act of terror,” said Biden, who was in Philadelphia with first lady Jill Biden packing carrots and apples at a food bank in a visit to the city to honor the legacy of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
“Allegedly - I don’t have all the facts, nor does the attorney general - but allegedly the assertion was he got the weapons on the street,” Biden said.
“He purchased them when he landed and it turns out there apparently were no bombs that we know of. ... Apparently he spent the first night in a homeless shelter. I don’t have all the details yet so I’m reluctant to go into much more detail,” the president said.
An FBI Hostage Rescue Team on Saturday night stormed Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, about 16 miles (26 km) northeast of Fort Worth, ending a 10-hour standoff with police by the gunman, who disrupted a Sabbath service and took the rabbi and three other people hostage.
One hostage was released unharmed after being held for six hours and the remaining three were later safely freed by the FBI team. Reporters at the scene late Saturday said they heard the sound of explosions, possibly flashbangs, and the sound of gunfire at the Reform Jewish synagogue in Colleyville.