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Feds charge Texas man with selling gun used to take hostages

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Feds charge Texas man with selling gun used to take hostages

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The Justice Department says a Texas man has been charged with a federal felony with a firearm after authorities said he sold a gun to a man who was holding four hostages at a synagogue in the area. Texas earlier this month.

DALLAS — A Texas man has been charged with a federal felony with a firearm after authorities said he sold a gun to a man who was holding four hostages at a Texas synagogue earlier the month before his death. be shot by the FBI, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Henry ‘Michael’ Williams, 32, has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after authorities say he sold the gun that Maisal Faisal Akram used when he entered at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas on January 15 and held the synagogue. rabbi and three other hostages for hours.

Williams had previously been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted possession of a controlled substance.

The attorney listed for Williams in court records did not immediately respond to a phone message and email seeking comment.

Akram, a 44-year-old British citizen, held hostages in suburban Dallas while demanding the release of a federal prisoner. The standoff ended after more than 10 hours when the temple rabbi threw a chair at Akram and fled with the other two remaining hostages just as an FBI tactical team arrived.

None of the hostages were injured.

Prosecutors say Williams sold Akram a semi-automatic pistol on January 13, two days before the hostage taking. The gun was recovered from the scene.

Williams first told investigators a day after Akram’s death that he remembered meeting a man with a British accent but could not remember his name. During a separate interview the following week, authorities said, Williams saw a photo of Akram and this time confirmed that he sold the gun to Akram at an intersection in south Dallas.

Williams told investigators Akram told him he intended to use the gun to intimidate someone who owed an unpaid debt, authorities said.

Dallas police arrested Williams on an outstanding warrant Monday, and he told federal investigators he sold the gun to Akram after reading his rights, according to charging documents.

Earlier on Wednesday, British police said they had arrested two more men in connection with the hostage-taking investigation.

Counter-terrorism force Policing North West said the pair were arrested in the northern English city of Manchester. They were being held for questioning and have not yet been charged.

Police did not release details of the two men. British police are not releasing the names and details of detainees until they are charged.

Akram was from the town of Blackburn in the North West of England.

The hostages said Akram had cited anti-Semitic stereotypes, and authorities said Akram was demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist convicted of attempting to kill US troops in Afghanistan and serving a long sentence in a prison near Colleyville.

On January 20, British police arrested two men in the cities of Birmingham and Manchester for questioning as part of the same investigation. The men were released without further action.

Two British teenagers were also detained earlier in Manchester and released without charge.

British media reported that Akram was investigated by MI5, the internal security service, in the second half of 2020, but was not considered a credible threat at the time. .

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The story has been corrected to show Williams was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, not selling a firearm.

Feds charge Texas man with selling gun used to take hostages

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