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The British man who took hostages at a Texas synagogue had been under investigation by MI5 as a possible Islamist terrorist threat as recently as 2020, Whitehall sources have acknowledged.

Three prison sentences for violent disorder and harassment He had also been in prison three times, between 1996 and 2012, for a range of offences including violent disorder, harassment and theft, Sky News understands.

Malik Faisal Akram, originally from Blackburn in Lancashire, was killed after the FBI entered the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, on Saturday night.

He is said to have demanded the release of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted of trying to kill US army officers in Afghanistan, and is in prison in Texas.

akram was shot dead by an fbi swat team 10 hours into the stand-off and all four hostages were unharmed.

Sky News understands he arrived in the US via New York's JFK International Airport shortly before the new year before buying the handgun he used in the siege.

MI5 concluded 'no credible threat to national security' Questions have now been raised into how he was able to enter the US with a criminal record and being known to MI5.

After the investigation concluded that Akram did not pose a threat at that time, he would have joined the ranks of some 40,000 individuals who have at some point been a subject of interest of MI5.

The Security Service's investigation lasted "over four weeks", a source said.

The source declined to say how long Akram had been looked into other than to say that the investigation had lasted more than four weeks and either ended in the back half of 2020 or by early 2021.

British citizen Malik Faisal Akram, 44, from Blackburn in the UK was shot dead after a standoff with police.

It is understood the investigation was "mid-level" and took place in the second half of 2020 – but once it had ended Akram was left as a closed subject of interest on MI5's records, and no information of concern appears to have been passed to the US authorities before the synagogue attack.

President Joe Biden on Sunday declared the incident an act of terrorism and the British foreign secretary, Liz Truss, said the UK government condemned "this act of terrorism and antisemitism".

Got a criminal record.

Akram travelled to the US around the time of the new year, and spent time in homeless shelters in Dallas.

Asked by reporters on Sunday how Akram could have procured weapons in the US, Biden said : "The assertion was he got the weapons on the street.

He purchased them when he landed."

As the siege unfolded, the FBI asked British police to get Akram's family to try to talk him into surrendering.

They spoke to Akram as he held hostages, but could not convince him to give himself up.

in a statement, attributed to akram's brother gulbar, added that the hostage-taker "was suffering from mental health issues".

he said.

Two teenagers have been arrested in Manchester in connection with the attack.

As a Muslim, a part of me was also concerned about the anti-Muslim rhetoric that might unfold : how people might generalise about Muslim communities as a result and how Islamophobia might be bolstered by the reports.

The Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand of March 2019 had happened just a few months before.

Although only a small number of Muslim extremists will actually carry out terrorist attacks, it remains true that jihadists and Islamist extremists often use antisemitic conspiracy theories to justify their ideology and actions.

"At no point did he say he's gon na harm these guys, that's not my brother.

"He was telling me' I 've come to die '."

they didn't need to do that.

He shouldn't have been able to board a plane without any stringent checks," Gulbar said.

"When I saw an opportunity, where he wasn't in a good position, I made sure the two gentleman who were with me ... were ready to go.

Speaking to reporters after the incident, FBI special agent in charge Matt DeSarno said they believed the man was "singularly focused on one issue and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community", and added they will continue to "work to find motive".

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