After last weekend’s hostage situation in Texas, many houses of worship across the nation are still nervous.
During this time, more details about the gunman’s movements that led to his holding four hostages for over 11 hours are being revealed.
Malik Faisal Akram flew from Manchester, England to New York’s JFK on Dec. 29, He gave the address of an $80-per night hotel to the immigration authorities.
Akram had a criminal background and was being investigated by Britain’s military intelligence in relation to possible terrorist links. In 2016, he was arrested.
So why wasn’t he on a watch list banning him from entering the U.S.?
“We have to get to the bottom of it as to how somebody with such a past was able to enter the U.S., come to New York City, stay a few days, make it out to Texas, get a firearm and be able to attack this synagogue,”Manny Gomez is a former FBI agent who was a terrorism expert.
The timeline picks up Jan. 2, when Akram left the hotel in Queens and traveled by bus to Dallas, Texas.
He stayed in a shelter for homeless people. A witness claimed that he was dropped off at the doorstep by someone. “hugged as they departed.”
On Jan. 6, Akram switched to another Dallas homeless shelter — the Union Gospel Mission. According to reports, he bought a gun from a homeless man.
He held a rabbi, three worshippers and the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue hostage for an eleven-hour siege.
During the standoff, the terrorist known to be named as was demanded his release “Lady al-Qaeda,” who’s serving 86 years for attempting to kill U.S. soldiers.
Akram targeted Dallas, because it’s close to the federal prison where she’s being held.
Hostage Jeffrey Cohen, an engineer at NASA, claims that Akram threatened them with death and they knew they needed to escape.
“He put his gun down to pour some soda, and that’s the point that Rabbi Charlie threw the chair and yelled, ‘Run,’” Cohen said.
As the FBI hostage rescue team stormed into Akram, Akram was gunned down.
The hero rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker, spoke at a service of healing Monday night.
“And somehow together, we made it through that traumatic ordeal,”He said.
Homeland security officials warn that extremists are likely to continue targeting faith-based communities.