A hostage-taker who was killed after a stand-off at a synagogue in Texas was from Blackburn.

The incident happened at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville on Saturday.

The man appeared to have a British accent, on a livestream, and demanding the release of a Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted of trying to kill US army officers in Afghanistan.

The man has been named as Malik Faisal Akram, known as Faisal Akram, aged 44. 

One hostage who had been held was released during the hours-long stand-off and three others got out at about 9pm local time when an FBI Swat team entered the building, authorities said.

The hostage-taker was killed and the FBI said a team would investigate “the shooting incident”.

Special agent in charge, Matthew DeSarno of the FBI Dallas Field Office this evening confirmed the identity of the Colleyville hostage taker as British citizen Malik Faisal Akram, 44.

The FBI said there is no indication that any other individuals are involved.

A spokesman for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said on Sunday: “We are aware of the death of a British man in Texas and are in contact with the local authorities.”

A statement attributed to his brother Gulbar read: “It is with great great sadness I will confirm my brother Faisal passed away in Texas, USA this morning. 

“We are absolutely devastated as a family.  We can’t say much now as their is an ongoing FBI investigation.

“We would like to say that we as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologise wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident.

“Sitting in the incident room all last night at Greenbank until the early hours liaising with Faisal, the negotiators, FBI. And although my brother was suffering from mental health issues we were confident that he would not harm the hostages.

“At around 3am the first person was released then an hour later he released the other three people through the fire door unharmed.”

The statement says the hostages were released.

It further added: “A few minutes later a firefight has taken place and he was shot and killed. There was nothing we could have said to him or done that would have convinced him to surrender. 

"The FBI are due to fly into the UK later today so we don’t have much else to share at the moment. Obviously, our priority will be to get him back to the UK for his funeral prayers although we have been warned it could take weeks. 

“We would also like to add that any attack on any human being be it a Jew, Christian or Muslim is wrong and should always be condemned.”

The statement ends with the family asking for privacy.

A notification on the Blackburn Muslim Community Facebook page read: "Faisal Akram has sadly departed from this temporary world and returned to his Creator. He was the son of Mohammed Malik Akram and the brother of Gulbar, Malik, Nasar, Yassar and Late Gulzameer Akram.

"There are many stories circulating in the local community so please avoid taking part in the sin of backbiting. Let the authorities complete their investigations, have respect for the family and allow them to mourn peacefully."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Colleyville police Chief Michael Miller addresses reporters in a nearby parking lot after the conclusion of a SWAT operation at Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Colleyville, Texas. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP).

FBI to investigate shooting incident

FBI special agent in charge Matt DeSarno said they have been in contact with their legal attache offices in London and Israel.

He told reporters: “Our investigation will have global reach. We have been in contact already with multiple FBI legats to include Tel Aviv and London.”

Mr DeSarno said they believe the man was “singularly focused on one issue and it was not specifically related to the Jewish community”, and added they will continue to “work to find motive”.

All four hostages were unharmed and were due to be reunited with their family after the incident, he added.

Earlier, law enforcement officials said the man had demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist suspected of having ties to al Qaida – who is currently in prison in Texas.

The officials said he said he wanted to be able to speak to her.