Who Was Malik Faisal Akram? British Gunman in Texas Synagogue Hostage Situation Had Checkered Past

The assailant landed at JFK Airport on Dec. 29 and made his way to Dallas, where he bought a gun. He was shot dead by authorities after holding the hostages for 11 hours.

Questions are being raised Monday about how the gunman in a terrifying hostage situation at a Texas synagogue was able to enter the United States.

Malik Faisal Akram’s family says he has a criminal record and mental health issues and was once banned from a courthouse after making a rant about wishing he had been with the terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. 

Despite all that, he was able to fly from England to the U.S. He landed at JFK Airport on Dec. 29 and made his way to Dallas, where he bought a gun — all without attracting the attention of authorities.

Akram made his way into the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue and held a rabbi and three worshippers hostage. His tirade could be heard on the synagogue's Facebook livestream.

Akram demanded the release of the notorious convict known as “Lady al-Qaeda” — an MIT graduate who is serving 86 years at a federal prison in Texas for attempting to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan.

Rabbi Charlie Citron Walker spoke on “CBS This Morning” about how the hostages escaped after an 11-hour ordeal.

“I made sure that the two gentlemen who were still with me were ready to go. The exit wasn't too far away. 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,” Walker said.

The suspect was shot dead by authorities.

Rabbi Charlie, as he is known, said he and others at the synagogue had recently practiced active shooter training. Despite the hostages all making it out alive, he says what happened will still take a long time to process.

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