British Police Arrest 2 More in Probe of Texas Synagogue Attack

British Police Arrest 2 More in Probe of Texas Synagogue Attack The Congregation Beth Israel synagogue The Congregation Beth Israel synagogue is show, in Colleyville, Texas, on Jan. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File)

By Brian Freeman | Wednesday, 26 January 2022 09:41 AM

British police arrested two men in Manchester on Wednesday in connection to the hostage-taking incident at a Texas synagogue earlier this month, the BBC reported.

Malik Faisal Akram was shot dead by the FBI to conclude a 10-hour standoff at Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 15 after he had taken four hostages.

Two other men were arrested in Birmingham and Manchester last week as part of the investigation.

British authorities are working closely with and supporting U.S. law enforcement in the probe.

The FBI said that it is carrying out a “rigorous” analysis of Akram's associates, his online presence and his devices, the Daily Mail reported.

Multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News that Akram demanded, after taking the hostages, the release of Pakistani Aafia Siddiqui, who allegedly has ties to Al Qaida terrorists and is serving an 86-year sentence in a jail about 20 miles from the synagogue after being convicted of assault and attempted murder of an American soldier in 2010.

Akram, a British citizen who was born in the Blackburn area, has family ties to Jandeela, a village in Pakistan’s Punjab province, and stayed in Pakistan in 2020 for five months.

Investigators believe that Akram arrived in the United States at New York's JFK International Airport two weeks before he took hostages at the synagogue, the BBC reported.

After his arrival, he is believed to have purchased weapons used in the incident "on the street."

Akram had been on the British security service's watchlist as a "subject of interest" in 2020 and was investigated.

But by last year British authorities had moved Akram from the active list to the "former subject of interest" list and was no longer considered a threat, despite having a criminal record in the UK.