A chilling excerpt of the final phone call between Malik Faisal Akram, the terrorist who held four Jewish people hostage for eleven hours at a synagogue in Texas, and his brother reveals he wanted to “go down as a martyr”.
On 15th January, 44-year-old Mr Akram from Blackburn in Lancashire, UK entered Congregation Beth Israel during Sabbath services, making threats against the congregation and holding them hostage, demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who is currently serving an 86-year prison sentence in Texas.
In comments that could be heard on a live stream of the synagogue service that was cut off during the incident, Mr Akram could be heard speaking in a northern English accent and claiming that he had a bomb and that he would not leave the synagogue alive.
Now, in audio that has been obtained by the JC, Mr Akram can be heard telling his brother, Gulbar, that he has “come to die”, and that he promised his younger brother, who reportedly died three months ago, that he would “go down a martyr.”
“I’m bombed up, I’ve got f***ing every ammunition,” he continued. “I’ve told my kids to man up and don’t f***king cry at my funeral.”
Mr Akram said: “I’ve asked Allah for this death, Allah is with me, I’m not worried in the slightest.” Ignoring his brother’s pleas for Mr Akram to end the siege, he yelled: “Maybe they’ll have compassion for f***ing Jews.”
Shortly after the attack, the “Blackburn Muslim Community” Facebook page reportedly prayed for “the Almighty” to “bless him with the highest ranks of Paradise” in a now-deleted post. It was reported today, however, that Chairman of Blackburn’s Masjid E Sajedeen Mosque, Councillor Salim Sidat, stated that “We, as a community, understand that this shouldn’t happen to any community, whether Jewish, Muslim, or anything else. The atrocities he carried out were disgusting and we also believe there is no room for antisemitism.”
In a statement that sparked fury in Jewish communities around the world, the FBI made a claim, which was blindly repeated by the world’s media, that the incident was “not specifically related to the Jewish community.” However, this claim was refuted by the hostages of the attack. Jeffrey Cohen recounted that Mr Akram had imbibed antisemitic conspiracy theories to the extent that he believed Jews to be so powerful that if he wanted a criminal to be released from prison, all he had to do was to enter a synagogue and demand that local Jews exercise their political might to fulfil his request.
At one point Mr Cohen told how the terrorist, who was killed by the FBI, demanded to speak to the “Chief Rabbi”, however no such office exists in the United States, so they simply called a rabbi from another synagogue. Mr Akram was apparently utterly convinced that Jews and their rabbis wielded such immense power that they could overturn prison sentences by decree.
FBI Director Christopher Wray has since said that “The FBI is and has been treating Saturday’s events as an act of terrorism targeting the Jewish community,” adding: “It was intentional, it was symbolic, and we’re not going to tolerate antisemitism in this country. We recognise that the Jewish community in particular has suffered violence and faces very real threats from across the hate spectrum.”