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Terrorist wanted vicious antisemite “Lady al-Qaeda” released so they could be martyred together

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“Malik Faisal Akram checks into the OurCalling hostel in Dallas on the evening of January 2, 2022. This is the last known picture of him before he carried out the attack.” (Photo and caption: thejc.com)

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TheJ.ca has extensively scanned media outlets and our own sources to prepare the following report on the actions of Malik Faisal Akram, the Islamist shot and killed after taking hostages in the Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, last Saturday morning.

The 44 year old Akram, described by his own brother (Gulbar) as a career criminal, was a Labour Party campaigner in Blackburn, England and a close relative of Blackburn Labour council member, Mohammed Irfan. He had been on the MI5 security service “mid-level” watch list for 4 weeks at the end of 2020 as a ‘subject of interest’ but was removed from surveillance as he was not deemed “a terrorist threat at that time”, The Daily Mail reported.

Police went to his flat looking for him just prior to his flight to New York, which the newspaper pegged as being on January 2. CBS News reported on a high level briefing with President Biden in which FBI director Christopher Wray provided a slightly different timeline of the path Akram took to Dallas.

Malik Faisal Akram had one goal: to secure the release of an incarcerated bio-terrorist known asLady al-Qaeda” who had insisted ‘the Jews and Zionists’ had framed her at trial. Prisoner swaps proposed by both The Taliban and ISIS had previously failed. He traveled 5000 km to trap a Reform rabbi and 3 congregants in their synagogue – and was prepared to kill them.

Demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqu from a nearby prison – Beth Israel was the nearest synagogue – the shaheed-wannabe lost his bargaining chips when a hostage flung a chair and knocked him askew, allowing them to run out the exit and for Akram’s fatal encounter with authorities to commence.

In England, Akram demonstrated years of Jew-hate and terrorist support.

Born in Blackburn, his father had emigrated from Pakistan and was president of a local mosque. Akram attended anti-Israel rallies and in events demanding that Mujahideen be released from custody in Guantanamo Bay. It was reported he made regular visits to Pakistan.

First incarcerated at age 16, he ended up in prison three years later after bashing a cousin with a baseball bat. He was returned to custody for property and harassment offenses twice more before the turn of the century. He was subject to a rare Exclusion Order from magistrates’ court in Blackburn – the first in 25 years – for abusing staff the day after the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers.

Embroiled in the drug trade as an adult, he was jailed in Liverpool in 2012 for stealing $5000 GBP and cell phones. During that stint his growing religious extremism resulted in the prison Imam reporting his ‘concerning and disruptive behavior’ at Friday prayers.

The Telegram reported that a few years later, after a serious car crash, Akram became even more devout, “dressed like a full-on religious scholar…  radicalized and became obsessive, absolutely obsessive’” according to a neighbour.  He shunned his family mosque to attend meetings and prayer with the Tabligi Jamaat group, whose objective is to “purify Islam”. The group has been banned by the Saudi rulers as “one of the gates to terrorism”.

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There are conflicting reports on Akram’s travel details to New York and Texas.

The Daily Mail indicated Akram landed at JFK airport on January 2, and provided an address for the Queens Hotel in New York City as his destination. The newspaper believes he took a bus to Texas, and placed him at the Union Gospel Mission homeless shelter on the evenings of January 6 through the 13th.

Shelter CEO Bruce Butler said staff saw him ‘come and go’ from January 6, telling CNN “We were a way station for him. He had a plan. He was very quiet.” Butler added he departed on January 13.

However, the FBI told President Biden that Akram had arrived in Texas by December 31; a homeless center told CBS News that Akram came there “presenting as a homeless individual in need of shelter” around 10 p.m. on January 2. Biden was told a gun was acquired “on the street” by the terrorist and agents were investigating homeless shelters in the area to try to trace Akram’s movements before he arrived at the synagogue 22 miles away from his last known bed. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that FBI agents were looking for a man who drove Akram to the Mission hostel.

According to trtworld.com, “Aafia Siddiqui comes from a well-educated Pakistani family with strong religious convictions based on Deobandi teachings, a school of political Islam which advocates Muslim struggle against imperialism and foreign invasions.” (Image: foreignpolicy.com)

Akram posed as a homeless person to get the Rabbi to let him in.

In an interview with the Forward, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker said a man knocked on the synagogue door during Shabbat services, asking for help. He appeared to be a homeless person. In an interview with CBS News, he recounted, “When I took him in, I stayed with him,” he recounted. “Making him tea was an opportunity to talk to him, and I didn’t hear anything suspicious. Some of his story didn’t quite add up, but that’s not necessarily an uncommon thing.”

A short time later Cytron-Walker was leading the silent Amidah prayer and heard a click behind him.

“I was a little suspicious when I heard that click but I was hoping it wasn’t an actual gun,” Cytron-Walker said. “I went over to him — where he and I could just have a conversation — and that’s when he pulled the gun on me.” There were 3 other congregants in the sanctuary with the Rabbi.

He demanded to speak to the Rabbi of Central Synagogue in New York City, Angela Buchdahl. “This was somebody who literally thought that Jews controlled the world,” Cytron-Walker recalled. “He thought he could come into a synagogue, and we could get on the phone with the ‘Chief Rabbi of America’ and he would get what he needed.”

Buchdahl spoke with Akram on two calls. He believed she could arrange the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist serving 86 years at a military facility near Beth Israel. Siddiqui was apprehended in Afghanistan after a 5 year search for her part in a bio-terrorism plot to enact “mass casualty attacks.”   While under questioning she shot an M-4 rifle at two US soldiers, who returned fire severely wounding her. 

Those weren’t the only calls Akram made.

The Facebook Live stream of Congregation Beth Israel’s Sabbath morning services, which turned into a hostage situation on January 15, 2022, was viewed worldwide for over 3 hours before the signal was cut off. (Screen capture/Facebook)

Akram’s conversations with relatives in England and others, were audible over the Facebook stream.

Stacey Silverman, a member of the synagogue, was watching the hostage crisis unfold. “The perpetrator was completely deranged, foul mouthed, swearing, saying antisemitic tropes, talking about Israel and Palestine and Islam and that he had a gun… He implied he had a bomb in his backpack and that he could let it loose at any minute. It was horrifying and it went on for a few hours. I was terrified.”

The audio was hard to hear in spots and his accent was challenging to decipher. He referred again to his “sister,” saying she is “as good as dead” and that “I would rather be dead . . .  and I would rather these four gentlemen be alive, so I will give you a crappy deal.”

As per commentator @jodamarr, Akram also stated the following about the hostages and being armed:

“I like rabbi, he’s a good guy, I really bonded with him. I really like him, I’ve only been here for a couple of hours but I can see he’s a good guy. I can see they’re good guys. They let me in, I said is this a night shelter and they let me in… and they gave me a cup of tea so I do feel bad…”

“I did pray, before I went in I did pray, I said god I hope I don’t have to shoot anyone to get in. I’ll tell you something I’ve been walking around with what I have in my bag and with my ammo…”

“(I was) on your streets for the last 16 hours, and I’ll tell you something now. If any police officer pulled me up he was going to die…so all thanks to god that didn’t happen. So at this moment in time we have no casualties and it’s beautiful”

“Don’t cry on the f**king phone with me… I have 6 beautiful kids… There are hostages in the synagogue who are going to die,” Akram said shortly before the feed dropped around 2 p.m. “I’m going to die, are you listening?” he said repeatedly.

“I’m going to die doing this all right? Are you listening? I’m going to die. Don’t cry about me.”

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has been a bedrock of support for the Muslim movement insisting Aafia Siddiqui is “unjustly held in a Texas prison.” CAIR has been at the forefront in a parade of protest and lobbying events, including at the Washington D.C. headquarters.

“I’m opening the door to every youngster to enter America and f**k with them”

Akram was “under the thrall of Islamist neofundamentalism which unfortunately thrives in many ghettoized Muslim communities in Britain” in the estimation of Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a British-American author and public commentator.

The Jewish Chronicle published the final phone call between Akram and his family, who tried to talk him out of murdering “innocent guys”. Almost immediately he stated, “I’ve come to die, I’m going to take them toe to toe,” going on to say, “I promised my brother on his deathbed that I’d go down a martyr.”

 “I’m bombed up, I’ve got f**king every ammunition…. I’ve got them all at gunpoint. I’m gonna die, I told them I’ll release these 4 guys,” he explained, envisioning a firefight ending “shoot me dead, shoot her dead… She’s in [prison] for 84 years, they f**king framed her,”

(His fanatical hatred for Jews mirrors the bile spewed by his intended beneficiary during her trial. Siddiqui spoke about the jurors: “If they have a Zionist or Israeli background…they are all mad at me, I have a feeling everyone here is them – subject to genetic testing….They should be excluded if you want to be fair.”)

He bellowed “I know what I’m doing, I’d rather live one day as a lion than 100 years as a jackyl.”

His brother Gulbar tried to get him to give up, return for a stretch in prison and come out like their friend just did. Akram was hearing none of it, in accordance with his extreme beliefs. “No no no no… they will never take another woman from a Muslim. I’m opening the door for every youngster to come to America to f**k with them.”

Zoned in on American conflicts across the seas, he criticized the Taliban for fighting defensive wars. Akram yelled: “Why do these f***ing motherf**kers come to our countries, rape our women and f**k our kids? I’m setting the precedent… they let (James Foley) die… maybe they’ll have compassion for f***ing Jews.”

His rant got more heated, calling for a Jihad among young Muslims: “Guess what? I’m opening the doors for every f**king youngster in England to know, live your f**king life bro, you f**king coward. We’re coming to f**king America. F**k them if they want to f**k with us. We’ll give them f**king war.” 

Akram then terminated the call.

CNN host Wolf Blitzer raised his eyebrows as Akram hostage Jeffrey Cohen related how after being told to kneel to get shot, Cohen mouthed “NO” at the terrorist. (Screengrab: CNN)

Akram’s bluff was called and he let his guard down, leading to a dramatic conclusion.

“In the last hour of our hostage crisis, the gunman became increasingly belligerent and threatening,” Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker said in an emailed statement quoted by the Fort Worth Star Telegram. “Without the instruction we received (in previous security training), we would not have been prepared to act and flee when the situation presented itself.”

He told “CBS Mornings” that the situation was clearly deteriorating and was trained that “when your life is threatened, you need to do whatever you can to get to safety.” 

Hostage Jeffrey Cohen told Wolf Blitzer of CNN that an agitated Akram initially said “he chose this synagogue because Jews control the world, Jews control the media, Jews control the banks, I want to talk to the Chief Rabbi of the United States (which doesn’t exist).”In the last hour, his demands not being met, Akram “degraded, he devolved… extremely agitated… we knew we had to get out.”

Akram told the trio, “I’m going to put a bullet in each of you, get down on your knees, at which point I glared at him (raised up) and I mouthed “no”… That was the first time we had been not subservient to him. He pulled back, he sat back down, I think that’s when he put down his gun and went to pour his soda… that’s when Rabbi Charlie yelled ‘run’ and threw the chair at him, my friend (who had felt ill) got one step in front of me.. I grabbed him under the arms and pushed him out… and Rabbi was behind us.”

(The Rabbi has told CBS News, “I told them to go, I threw a chair at the gunman and I headed for the door. And all three of us were able to get out without even a shot being fired.”)

Safe outside, “We heard the loud bang of the breach less than 30 second after.” 

The day after the hostage-taking, Arizona state house Rep. Alma Hernandez (D), who is Jewish, tweeted: “Wait let me get this straight so Rabbi Charlie {Cytron-Walker} & the other 3 Jews would've had to die so that the media could connect this to “targeting the Jewish community.” I'm not shocked but seriously...{people] just randomly find small shuls where not many Jews live by mistake.” (Image: Twitter)

At its core, this was a calculated, deliberate attack by a Jew-hating terrorist.

Earlier, Akram’s family release a statement claiming, “at around 3 Am (UK time) the first person was released then an hour later he released the other three people through the fire door unharmed Don’t believe the bull#### in the media. They were released from the fire Monday night exit and Not rescued

Cohen demolished that version of events to Blitzer.

“I want to make clear 2 things. We were not released, we were not rescued. We escaped because we kept presence of mind, because we made plans. We strategically moved people…. When we brought the pizza in… I motioned for Rabbi Charlie to sit with us so we could be neatly in line the exit.”

“That was critical,” he explained, as “In five or six steps we were out the door. Having this training… it absolutely saved our lives.”

Regarding Akram, Cohen explained, “This guy was not the shooter that we hear about all the time… He terrorized us because he believed these antisemitic tropes that the Jews control everything and if I go to the Jews, they can pull the strings.”  He said Akram insisted, “I’m coming to you because I know President Biden will do things for the Jews, I know President Trump will do things for the Jews…”.

Calling his attacker mentally unstable, Cohen told CNN viewers, “this guy really believed that if I go to the closest synagogue (to the Carswell medical facility) and I take Jews hostage, they will let this woman out. He really believed that. And that’s scary.”

Marty Gold is the Editor-in -Chief of TheJ.ca. Known for investigative reporting, he has specialized in covering municipal and provincial politics, and a wide range of sports and entertainment, in newspapers, magazines, online, and on his first love, radio. His business and consulting experience includes live events and sales, workplace safety, documentary productions, PR, and telecommunications in Vancouver, Los Angeles and across Canada, and as a contestant on CBC-TV Dragons Den.

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Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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