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Biden calls synagogue hostage incident an ‘act of terror’ as FBI identifies attacker

COLLEYVILLE, Texas — US President Joe Biden on Sunday called the weekend hostage crisis at a Texas synagogue an “act of terror” as the FBI identified the attacker who held four worshipers at gunpoint in Congregation Beth Israel for 11 hours.

Malik Faisal Akram was a 44-year-old citizen of the UK, the FBI said, adding that there was no indication that other individuals were involved in the attack on the synagogue in Colleyville.

The attacker’s brother Gulbar issued a statement on the family’s behalf that was posted on the UK’s Blackburn Muslim Community Facebook page, in which he condemned Akram’s actions and apologized to those impacted by them.

“We would like to say that we as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident,” he wrote.

Gulbar revealed that they had been in touch with Akram throughout the Saturday hostage crisis via FBI negotiators, and that while his brother “was suffering from mental health issues, we were confident that he would not harm the hostages.”

The statement also revealed that Akram was shot in a firefight with the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team at the scene. US authorities have withheld information on how the attacker died until now.

“There was nothing we could have said to him or done that would have convinced him to surrender,” Akram’s brother said.

“We would also like to add that any attack on any human being be it a Jew, Christian or Muslim etc is wrong and should always be condemned. It is absolutely inexcusable for a Muslim to attack a Jew or for any Jew to attack a Muslim, Christian, Hindu vice versa etc etc,” the statement added.

Online Desk

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