2 Teens Arrested in Connection to Synagogue Standoff Reportedly Malik Faisal Akram's Sons

The two teens that police in Manchester, England, arrested late Sunday in connection with Malik Faisal Akram's 10-hour standoff in a Texas synagogue on January 15 are his sons.

Two U.S. law enforcement officials who spoke anonymously confirmed to the Associated Press that the teens are Akram's sons and that Akram was in contact with them on the day of the attack.

According to one of the officials, authorities are investigating how much Akram told his sons about the standoff before it happened.

The situation began on Saturday, when the 44-year-old Akram came to the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker told CBS Mornings that he let Akram into the synagogue that morning and made him tea because he appeared to need shelter.

Cytron-Walker said he did not feel suspicious of Akram until prayer, when his back was turned to Akram and he heard a click.

"It could have been anything," he said. "But it turned out it was his gun."

Akram took the rabbi and three others who had been participating in the service hostage. He released one of the hostages around 5 p.m., while the other three escaped around 9 p.m.

Cytron-Walker told CBS Mornings that when he noticed Akram "wasn't in a good position" and he and the other hostages were not too far from the exit, he threw a chair at Akram, then they ran to the exit.

"And all three of us were able to get out without even a shot being fired," he said.

Shortly after all the hostages were out of the synagogue, Akram was fatally shot during a SWAT rescue mission, though authorities have not yet identified who fired the shot, KTVT, a Dallas-Fort Worth station, reported.

Video from Dallas' WFAA captured the standoff's final moments. It showed the hostages running from the building, then authorities descending on it. Shots and an explosion could be heard.

According to KTVT, Akram was from the U.K. and traveled to New York by plane last month. He spent some time in homeless shelters in the weeks leading up to the attack.

The BBC reported that Akram was the subject of an MI5 investigation in late 2020 but was deemed to no longer be a risk by the time he flew to the U.S., as authorities had moved him to their "former subject of interest" list.

KTVT reported the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating the case.

Congregation Beth Israel, Texas, synagogue
Authorities identified the man responsible for the Saturday standoff at a Texas synagogue as British citizen Malik Faisal Akram. Authorities are investigating how much Akram told his sons, who were arrested late Sunday in Manchester, England, about the standoff before it happened. Above, law enforcement vehicles sit in front of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on January 16 in Colleyville, Texas. Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images