LONDON: British police said on Wednesday they were holding two more men in connection with an armed hostage-taking incident at a Texas synagogue by a man from northwest England.

Malik Faisal Akram, 44, from Black­burn, was shot dead by the FBI after a 10-hour siege in the small town of Colley­ville in mid-January. His four hostages, including a rabbi, were all freed unharmed.

“As part of the local investigation, two men have been arrested this morning in Manchester,” the Counter Terrorism Policing force for northwest England said in a statement. “They remain in custody for questioning.”

Police have also questioned three other men in Manchester, and another in the central English city of Birmingham.

Akram had planned the attack for two years, wanting to die as a “martyr”, according to audio of the last phone call with his brother released by the London-based Jewish Chronicle newspaper.

The attack was staged in an apparent bid to win the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who has been jailed for the attempted murder of US soldiers in Afghanistan.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2022

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