The brother of 44-year-old Malik Faisal Akram, the British national who was shot dead after taking four people hostage at a Texas synagogue, says his brother suffered from “mental health issues.”
In a statement shortly after learning news of his brother’s death at the hands of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team, Gulbar Akram expressed deep sorrow over the events that transpired at Beth Israel synagogue on Saturday.
A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on January 16, 2022, in Colleyville, Texas. All four people who were held hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue have been safely released after more than 10 hours of being held captive by a gunman. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
“It is with great sadness I will confirm my brother Faisal passed away in Texas, USA, this morning,” said Gulbar. “We are absolutely devastated as a family. We can’t say much now as there is an ongoing FBI investigation.”
Malik allegedly took hostages to secure the release of convicted Pakistani terrorist Aafia Siddiqu, a.k.a. Lady al-Qaeda. Gulbar emphasized that his family does not in any way condone violence and expressed sympathy for the victims.
“We would like to say that we as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident,” he said.
Gulbar added that his brother “was suffering from mental health issues” and did not believe he would have harmed the hostages, admitting that there was nothing his family could say or do to make him surrender.
“Sitting in the incident room all last night at Greenbank until the early hours liaising with Faisal, the negotiators, FBI, etc,” he continued. “And although my brother was suffering from mental health issues, we were confident that he would not harm the hostages.
“There was nothing we could have said to him or done that would have convinced him to surrender,” he added.
The FBI has yet to label the attack antisemitic, arguing that Malik was not directly targeting the Jewish community when he demanded the release of Lady al-Qaeda.