COLLEYVILLE, Texas - The FBI identified a 44-year-old British national as the man who took four people hostage, including a rabbi, at a Colleyville synagogue for 10 hours before an FBI SWAT team stormed the building.
Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno of the FBI Dallas Field Office confirmed Malik Faisal Akram was the man who took the hostages at Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Saturday.
Akram is dead after the last of the hostages got out unharmed and an FBI SWAT team stormed the building.
The FBI said there was no indication that anyone else was involved, and the motive is still being investigated.
Police in Britain said they have detained two teenagers in relation to the hostages being taken at Congregation Beth Israel synagogue.
Greater Manchester Police tweeted the information on Sunday that two teenagers were detained in South Manchester by Counter Terrorism Policing North West. They remain in custody for questioning.
No further details were released about the suspects.
The investigation into the hostage taking is continuing to be investigated, and authorities are processing evidence.
Anyone with information is asked to submit it at tips.fbi.gov or call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
It’s noticeable where the FBI breached a back door to save hostages.
Trevor McIntyre, a father of four girls who lives nearby, saw it happen.
"And I said, ‘OK, I guess they’re going in and getting that done,’" he said.
His kids heard it.
"It was just really deep [woosh]," he recalled.
So did FOX 4 crews who were at the scene a half-mile away.
All four people held hostage in the synagogue for more than 10 hours are safe. One of them was Congregation Beth Israel Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker.
Cytron-Walker posted a message of gratitude on Facebook, saying he was thankful and grateful after surviving the hostage situation.
He was among four people held hostage at the synagogue, and said Sunday that the British man who held them captive became "increasingly belligerent and threatening" toward the end of the 10-hour standoff.
Cytron-Walker credited security training that his congregation has received over the years for helping him and the other hostages get through the situation. He said in a statement that without that instruction, "we would not have been prepared to act and flee when the situation presented itself."
"Just a wonderful guy to know," Colleyville resident Steven Hays said of Cytron-Walker.
"Cause you just don’t know if it’s going to happen at your church," Michael McGarry said.
Authorities are continuing to investigate Akram’s motive, but the American Jewish Committee points to FBI data highlighting anti-Semitism concerns in the U.S.
"[But it seemed very clear] that he was focused on targeting a Jewish house of worship," said Joel Schwitzer, regional director, for the American Jewish Committee. "So, we make up about 2% of the U.S. population, and yet 57%, nearly 60%, of all religiously motivated bias incidents are directed toward members of the Jewish community."
U.S. Representative Marc Veasey, a friend of Rabbi Cytron-Walker, said he’s in contact with the feds.
The FBI hasn’t confirmed a motive, however, the synagogue’s livestream was rolling during the initial takeover, and Akram was asking for the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who’s in prison in Fort Worth after a conviction in 2010 for the attempted murder of U.S. nationals in Afghanistan.
The recording also captured him saying he was prepared to die.
"I’m going to die today, alright? Look at me. I am going to die. OK. Don’t cry for me," he was heard saying on the livestream.
After he spoke those words, Facebook cut the livestream.
It started as a normal weekend in Colleyville.
"My daughter was having a baby shower," recalled Joe Scopelite, who lives nearby. "And then I knew everything was going to go down after that when you felt the concussion and the explosion."
It’s turned into a weekend no one there will forget.
"And then after that I heard the police shouting about hostages, ‘Get the hostages, move the hostages,’ whatever," Scopelite said, "Again, it’s a shock that it happened here — but it can happen anywhere."
The Associated Press contributed to this report