British law enforcement officials released a statement late on Sunday night stating that they have made multiple arrests in connection with a British national who took several Jewish people hostage at a synagogue in Texas over the weekend.
“As part of the ongoing investigation into the attack that took place at a Synagogue in Texas on 15 January 2022, Officers from Counter Terror Policing North West have made two arrests in relation to the incident,” the Greater Manchester Police said in a statement. “Two teenagers were detained in South Manchester this evening. They remain in custody for questioning.”
“CTP North West and CTP International operations continues to assist the investigation being led by the US authorities, and police forces in the region are liaising with local communities to put in place any measures to provide further reassurance,” the statement concluded.
The news comes after Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told CNN on Sunday that “the FBI has now fanned their investigation out to London and Tel Aviv” and that it had “turned into an international investigation.”
“So there’s something more here,” he added.
The suspect claimed to be the brother of convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, who is currently serving an 86-year prison sentence in the U.S. for trying to kill American forces in Afghanistan. However, it appears that the suspect was not the brother of Siddiqui.
“And so I think we’re going to find out a lot more in the next 24, 48 hours. He is British. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s Pakistani, just like Siddiqui. And we need to get to the bottom of this,” McCaul continued. “We haven’t seen one of these radicalized attacks in a few years now, and it is disturbing to see it raise its ugly head again.”
Aafia Siddiqui is “linked to al Qaeda and was convicted in 2010 of attempting to kill Americans in Afghanistan,” Foreign Policy reported. “Siddiqui … who’s known in counterterrorism circles as ‘Lady al Qaeda,’ has been linked to 9/11 ringleader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and was once on the FBI’s most-wanted terrorists list. Educated in the United States — she studied at M.I.T. and received a doctorate from Brandeis — Siddiqui was arrested in 2008 in Afghanistan carrying sodium cyanide, as well as documents describing how to make chemical weapons and dirty bombs and how to weaponize Ebola. When FBI and military officials tried to question Siddiqui, she grabbed a weapon left on the table in her interrogation room and fired upon them.”
The suspect was killed late on Saturday evening and all hostages were freed, unharmed. It was not immediately clear whether law enforcement killed the suspect or if the suspect killed himself.
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This report has been updated to include additional information.
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