MI5 said Texas synagogue attacker was not a threat in 2020 investigation

He was allowed to travel freely to the United States


The British man behind the Texas synagogue hostage crisis in Texas last weekend was investigated by intelligence services nearly two years ago. 

MI5 had placed Malik Faisal Akram under investigation as a potential Islamist terror threat in 2020 according to Whitehall sources. 

The investigation into Akram was closed in the second half of 2020 and concluded that Mr. Akram did not pose a significant threat and he was marked as a “closed subject of interest” in intelligence files. 

UK authorities subsequently did not pass any information to their US counterparts, allowing Akram to enter the US and make his way to Texas where he held a synagogue congregation hostage for 11 hours during their shabbat services. 

Greater Manchester Police have now made two arrests related to the investigation. Officers from Counter Terror Policing North West arrested two teenagers in South Manchester on Sunday night and they remain in police custody for questioning.

The family of Akram has apologised to the victims of the attack, saying "We would like to say that we as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologise wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident."

The family have also confirmed that they're fully co-operating with law enforcement, including the FBI, who are believed to be leading the investigation internationally.

President Joe Biden has referred to the event as an act of terrorism, with foreign secretary Liz Truss also deploring the act of antisemitic terrorism. 

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