The US President Joe Biden on Sunday (local time) termed the synagogue hostage-taking incident in the Texan city of Colleyville as an “act of terror.”
“This was an act of terror, and not only was he (44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram) related to someone who had been arrested, I might add, 15 years ago and had been in jail for 10 years,” said Biden.
At least four people were taken hostages by a man at a synagogue Congregation Beth Israel in the town of Colleyville for more than ten hours on Saturday.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Dallas Division on Sunday (local time) identified the man killed as 44-year-old British national Malik Faisal Akram.
According to the law enforcement officials, the hostage-taker demanded the release of the Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted of trying to kill US military officers while in custody in Afghanistan.
Biden said he had spoken to Attorney General Merrick Garland about the hostage crisis. “Regarding Texas and the synagogue, I spoke this morning with the Attorney General, and we got a rundown. He said there was overwhelming cooperation with the local authorities and FBI, and they did one hell of a job,” said the US President.
Biden applauded FBI and local authorities and reiterated that the US has the capacity to deal with such assaults.
“And they did just a great job. I also told him that I wanted to make sure that we got the word out that synagogues and other places of worship are not going to tolerate this. We have the capacity to deal with the assault on particularly,” said Biden.
“The Attorney General is focused that we deal with these kinds of acts. And thank God we had such professional FBI as well as local cooperation,” added Biden
He also said that he will talk to the Rabbi who was taken, hostage.
When asked about how the gunman obtained weapons, Biden said “I don’t have all the facts.” He said the idea of background checks was critical but nothing stopped shooters from buying guns on the street.
“The Attorney General — allegedly the assertion was that he got the weapons on the street, that he purchased them. As it turns out there were apparently no bombs, even though he said he had bombs as well. He apparently spent the first night in a homeless shelter — I don’t have all the details, so I’m reluctant to go into much more detail, but allegedly he purchased it on the street,” said the President.
Biden also insisted on background checks on the sale of weapons in the US. He said, “Guns are — they need to be — the idea of background checks is critical, but you can’t stop something like this if someone is on the street buying something from someone else on the street. There are so many guns that have been sold in this way it’s ridiculous because of the failure to focus as hard as we should, consistently should on gun sales, ghost guns, a whole range of things.”
Biden also added that there was not sufficient information on why the gunman had targeted the synagogue.
“I don’t think there is sufficient information to know why he went to that synagogue and why he insisted on the police releasing a person who had been in prison for 10 years. I just don’t have enough facts,” added Biden.