Two teenagers have been arrested in the UK following the tense 11-hour hostage standoff at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in the Dallas suburb of Colleyville on Saturday (January 15th), which has been condemned by President Joe Biden who called it ‘an act of terror.’
This follows the FBI naming the armed assailant as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram, who travelled from the UK to Texas before taking four people hostage at the synagogue. Akram was pronounced dead after the FBI stormed the building. All four hostages survived the siege and were unharmed, according to local police.
On Sunday night, UK counter-terrorism police said the two teenagers, whose ages and genders have not yet been revealed, were arrested in the city of Manchester as part of the investigation into the attack. They now remain in custody for questioning.
In a statement, Greater Manchester police said: “CTP [counter terror policing] North West and CTP International operations continues to assist the investigation being led by the US authorities, and police forces in the region are liaising with local communities to put in place any measures to provide further reassurance.”
The shocking standoff began during a Saturday morning service at the Reform synagogue, which was being streamed live on Facebook. A man with a British accent could be heard shouting off camera and the feed was eventually cut hours later and police were called at around 10.41am.
One male hostage, believed to be the synagogue’s rabbi, was released at around 5pm as negotiations continued throughout the day. The three remaining hostages were rescued at around 9pm when armed FBI officers stormed the building, authorities said.
President Biden was asked by reporters how Akram could have bought weapons in the US. Biden said he did not have all the facts but “the assertion was he got the weapons on the street. He purchased them when he landed.”
Biden also praised the “courageous work” of law enforcement responders who were at the scene. The President also sent “love and strength” to the synagogue’s worshippers and to members of the Jewish community.
This latest gun-related attack in the US reinforces the need for medical equipment to be readily available in public places, in particular places of worship which are vulnerable to incidences such as this.
This incident is just the latest in a long line of attacks on Jewish places of worship in the US. In October 2018, a gunman murdered 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. In 2019, one worshipper was killed and three injured at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California.
Incomplete FBI hate crimes data for 2020 revealed antisemitic hate crimes were in the majority when it came to targeted attacks on religious groups in the US with 676 recorded incidents recorded.
Incidents such as these are why Tytek Medical are passionate about designing and supplying high quality, efficient life-saving equipment that can be easily mounted in public places and spreading the message that every one of us can save a life with the right knowledge and equipment.
Our wall mounted Bleeding Control Station contains eight Bleeding Control Kits and a disposable litter. The kits are perforated to ensure that they can be detached and opened quickly and easily.
Every second of the Platinum Ten minutes counts (highlighted in recent medical research as the key time in which you can save lives) and this kit will help you to help others.
Find out more about our Bleeding Control Stations here: TyTek Products — Tytek Group (tytekmedical.com)
News source: The Guardian