Two men have been arrested in the UK as part of the investigation into British Islamist Malik Faisal Akram who took four people hostage at a synagogue in Texas.
The men, from Birmingham and Manchester, were being held on Thursday for questioning as part of an “ongoing investigation”, according to Greater Manchester Police.
“Officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North West continue to support U.S. authorities with their investigation into the events in Texas,” police said in a statement.
Two teenagers arrested and questioned in Manchester on Tuesday evening have been released.
Earlier this week it was revealed that British intelligence agents investigated Akram in 2020 but closed the investigation as there was no indication that he was a terror threat at the time.
The 44-year-old entered the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue on Saturday night and took four hostages. He was killed in a hail of bullets by an FBI hostage rescue team after a tense 10-hour standoff. All four hostages, including Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, survived unscathed.
U.S. President Joe Biden called the incident an “act of terror”. British foreign secretary called it an “act of terrorism and antisemitism”.
Akram had demanded the release of terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence for a planned cyanide attack on the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.
An audio recording has emerged appearing to show Akram’s younger brother pleading with him to stop while the siege was ongoing.
In the audio recording, obtained from a security source and published by the Jewish Chronicle in the UK, Akram goes on an antisemitic rant and refuses to surrender.