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UK Police Arrest Two Men Over Texas Hostage Siege at Synagogue Seeking Release of Pak Scientist

The siege at a synagogue in the US state of Texas ended in the death of British hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram. (Image: AFP/File)

The siege at a synagogue in the US state of Texas ended in the death of British hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram. (Image: AFP/File)

The two men were arrested in the city of Birmingham in central England and in Manchester in northwestern England.

British police on Thursday arrested two men over their alleged role in a hostage taking by a British man at a synagogue in Texas last weekend.

The men were arrested in Birmingham in central England and in Manchester in northwestern England on Thursday morning by counter terrorism officers, Greater Manchester Police said in a tweet. 

The men are being questioned in custody by Counter Terrorism Policing North West.

A man from Blackburn in northwestern England, 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, was shot dead during a 10-hour siege on Saturday. The four hostages including a rabbi were all freed unharmed.

Media reports said Akram was investigated in 2020 by Britain’s domestic security agency MI5, which shut down the probe after a little over a month due to a lack of evidence that he was a threat.  

Reports say the hostage-taker was seeking the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist known as “Lady Al-Qaeda,” whose detention has been a cause celebre for jihadists.

UK police on Sunday arrested two teenagers and searched a property in Manchester some 21 miles (34 kilometres) from Blackburn in connection with the siege but released them without charge.

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first published:January 20, 2022, 14:12 IST