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Hostages in Texas Synagogue Escape; Police Shoot and Kill Gunman

HeadlineJan 18, 2022

In Texas, a rabbi and three congregants of a Jewish synagogue escaped without harm Saturday after an armed man took them hostage, prompting an 11-hour standoff that ended when police shot and killed the gunman. The assailant has been identified as Malik Faisal Akram, a British citizen who’s believed to have arrived in the United States in December. Akram reportedly bought his guns on the street. His brother, who assisted police during the standoff, said Malik had suffered mental health issues for years. President Biden later called the violence an “act of terror” and promised to battle antisemitism.

President Joe Biden: “I wanted to make sure we got the word out to synagogues and places of worship that we’re not going to tolerate this, that we have this capacity to deal with the assault on particularly the antisemitism that has grown up.”

During hours of negotiation, Malik Faisal Akram repeatedly called for the release of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence in the United States. We’ll have more on her case — and the standoff at the Texas synagogue — later in the broadcast.

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