Texas synagogue hostage-taker was banned from UK court for reportedly telling staff he wished they had died in the 9/11 attacks
- Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, over the weekend.
- Akram, now deceased, was banned from a UK court in 2001 for ranting about 9/11, per the Lancashire Telegraph.
Malik Faisal Akram – identified by the FBI as the terrorist who took four people hostage at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, over the weekend – was banned from a UK court 20 years earlier, according to the Lancashire Telegraph.
Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Akram was allegedly "threatening and abusive" towards court staff at a court in Lancashire county, according to a letter from the court. Akram had no business at Blackburn magistrates court at the time, and had previously been warned for his verbally abusive behavior in May.
"Once again you were threatening and abusive towards court staff," deputy justice clerk Peter Wells wrote in a letter published by the Telegraph. "In a clear reference to the the terrorist attack on New York the previous day you said on more than one occasion to one of my court ushers 'you should have been on the ******* plane.' This caused a great deal of distress to an individual who was simply doing his job and should not be subjected to your foul abuse."
The Blackburn magistrates court issued an exclusion order for his behavior, which reportedly had only been used once at the court in the 25 years before the 2001 incident. The penalty for showing up in court without reason or abusing staff is detention with potential of a custodial sentence and a £2,500 fine, which would have been about $3,600 at the time.
Akram, who died during an hours-long standoff with authorities, was "suffering from mental health issues," according to statement by his brother Gulbar, which was shared by the Blackburn Muslim Community in its Facebook group.
—Nicole Lampert (@nicolelampert) January 16, 2022
"We would like to say that we as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident," Gulbar Akram wrote in the Facebook comment, which appears to have been deleted. "Sitting in the incident room all night at Greenbank until the early hours liaising with Faisal, the negotiators, FBI etc[.] And although my brother was suffering from mental health issues we were confident that he would not harm the hostages."
All four hostages were released, unharmed.
During the standoff, Malik Faisal Akram demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani, American-educated neuroscientist serving an 86-year sentence after being convicted of attempting to murder a US soldier in 2010, according to ABC News.
Authorities have not confirmed Akram's demands. A lawyer for Siddiqui's brother has stated that the family has no connection to Akram or the incident in Colleyville.
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