Matt Bush, FISM News
Malik Faisal Akram, the British national who took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue over the weekend before being killed by an FBI team, was known by British Intelligence as a potential terror threat and was investigated as late as 2020 according to new reports.
Akram, 44, had been on the watch list of Britain’s MI5 security service as a “subject of interest” during the second half of 2020. The investigation was closed later that year after MI5 reached the assessment that Akram was no longer a threat. However, The Telegraph reports that Akram had been investigated due to his frequent trips to Pakistan, had been arrested at least three times, and was suspected of being a part of Tablighi Jamaat, a known radical Islamist organization.
Akram arrived at New York’s JFK airport in late December, and authorities are now trying to figure out how he got from New York to the synagogue in Texas. According to a CNN article, Akram arrived legally in America and was vetted prior to his arrival in the country. According to CNN’s source, this means that Akram was cross-checked with classified and unclassified information and that he was not on any U.S. government watch list.
While British Intelligence told their U.S. counterparts that a preliminary review of its terrorism databases showed no information of concern on Akram, the fact that he made it to U.S. soil with no issues has caused many to demand a review of immigration screening policies.
According to the NY Times, the terrorist’s brother, Gulbar Akram, was baffled that Malikk was able to gain a visa to the U.S. despite his mental health and criminal history. He was quoted as saying:
How had he gotten into America? Why was he granted a visa? How did he land at JFK airport and not get stopped for one second?
Senator Ron Johnson told Fox News Digital that he expected the White House to brief Congress on the mishandling of the situation:
I expect DHS and the Biden administration to brief Congress on the failures of our immigration system to detect this individual. If DHS does not, we will call on Senate Democrats to demand these officials testify before Congress. The Jewish community, and all Americans, deserve transparency and accountability into this preventable attack.”
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy released a statement yesterday demanding answers from the Biden administration on five questions while also calling out the DOJ for not initially ruling the incident a racially-motivated attack:
- Why were Biden officials downplaying terrorist attacks within our borders?
- Why did the FBI initially disregard the role anti-Semitism played in this hostage situation?
- What indications were missed in the lead up to this attack because resources were redirected to other areas?
- How was it that someone with an apparent criminal record and suspicious travel history was allowed into the United States to begin with?
- What national security concerns remain?
Senator Josh Hawley took to Twitter to point out that Akram’s admittance to the U.S. highlights an even greater security threat:
About this Islamic terrorist who attacked the Jewish synagogue – was he given an in-person interview when he entered the US from Britain a few weeks ago? Or did the Biden team just wave him in, as they have thousands of others?
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 18, 2022
Some in the media, and especially CNN’s Don Lemon, however, are writing the attack off as a mental health issue. Lemon was paraphrased by Fox News as saying, “when some who may be unstable or has some mental issues, it becomes real, and they act. These tropes are incredibly dangerous in that regard.”
The FBI continues to investigate the attack as a “terror threat” but believe that it is an isolated incident.