CHICAGO: Counterterrorism police in Manchester in the UK said late on Sunday that they had detained two teenagers in connection with the Texas synagogue siege.
The teens were arrested in the southern area of the city as part of the investigation into the hostage-taking incident at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, on Saturday.
British citizen Malik Faisal Akram, 44, from Blackburn, was shot dead after a standoff with police in Colleyville.
Manchester police on Sunday said that they are working with the FBI, but did not disclose why the teenagers were being detained or their alleged links to the Colleyville attack.
Akram was shot and killed by a police SWAT team during an operation to free four hostages, including the synagogue’s rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker, late on Saturday.
Earlier the hostage-taker had announced over a synagogue loudspeaker that he was demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist convicted on terrorism charges in the US in 2010 and given an 86-year prison sentence at a federal facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
Siddiqui was convicted of trying to kill US military officers while she was in custody in Afghanistan. She was arrested in 2008 after US officials said they had found handwritten notes describing how to build a “dirty bomb.”
US President Joe Biden condemned the attack on the synagogue as “an act of terror” and said Akram had bought his weapons off the street.
British Foreign Minister Liz Truss called the attack an “act of terrorism and antisemitism.”
Muslim leaders around the US denounced the attack.
Imams at nearby mosques quickly responded with statements of support and prayers for the safety of the synagogue’s congregation and condemnations of the violence.
Imam Jawaid Alam, from the Islamic Center of Southlake in Texas, said he was “shocked and horrified,” adding that “we stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters.”
Oussama Jammal, secretary-general of the US Council of Muslim Organizations, denounced the “heinous attack on a synagogue” and said Muslims across the US stand in solidarity with “the Colleyville and broader American Jewish community.”