Malik Faisal Akram, the British national who took four people hostage at a Synagogue in Texas on Saturday, said in a call with his brother during the standoff that he intended to “go down as a martyr” and was “opening the door” for others to attack America.
In an audio recording of a phone call with his brother, Gulbar, obtained exclusively by the Jewish Chronicle, the hostage-taker said he had made a promise “that I will go down as a martyr. I’ll let no motherfucker suppress me.”
On Saturday, Akram took a rabbi and three more Jewish congregants hostage at the Temple Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. During the standoff, Akram claimed to be the brother of convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui and demanded her release.
During the call, Akram proceeded to tell his brother about the hostage situation he had created. He said the authorities are “trying to play ball with me” and “I told them to bring her here” appearing to reference his demands for Siddiqui’s release.
Akram said, “I’m bombed up. I’ve got fucking every ammunition . . . I’ve got them all at gunpoint.”
Akram then said he told authorities he would release the four hostages and then “have a toe to toe” fight with police, who could then shoot him and Siddiqui dead.
The hostage-taker said he “prayed to Allah for two years for this” and had “asked Allah for this death and Allah’s with me.”
As his brother tried to talk him into surrendering, the hostage-taker said “No . . . they will never take another woman from a Muslim. I’m opening the door for every youngster to enter America and fuck with them.”
“Why does Afghanistan always have to have a defensive war? Why can’t these sick bastard Taliban enter fucking enter America and they have a fucking defensive war?” Akram continued. “Why do we need these motherfuckers to come to our country and do fucking battle and we can’t come in their country? They come into our countries, rape our women and fuck our kids and we can’t come into their countries and fuck with them. So you know what, I’m setting the precedent today.”
The hours-long standoff ultimately ended when the four hostages escaped and authorities police shot and killed Akram.
FBI special agent in charge Matt DeSarno initially said the FBI believes Akram’s motive was “not specifically related to the Jewish community.” The FBI later said, “This is a terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted, and is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.”
The FBI is working with counterterrorism authorities in the United Kingdom. The Greater Manchester Police (GMP) arrested two teenagers on Monday in connection with the hostage incident. ABC reported the teenagers were Akram’s children and they were released on Tuesday without being charged.
Akram had a history of making extremist remarks. He reportedly had a history of harassing officials at a U.K. magistrate court and, on one occasion just days after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he reportedly told the court he wished he had been on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center. Akram was subsequently barred from entering that courthouse.
In 2020, Akram also reportedly traveled to Pakistan and stayed there for five months. The Times of Israel reported the U.K.’s MI5 intelligence and security service had investigated Akram as a possible terror threat that year.