DALLAS — A Texas man has been charged with a federal gun crime after authorities say he sold a gun to a man who held four hostages inside a Texas synagogue earlier this month before being fatally shot by the FBI, the Justice Department said Wednesday.
Henry "Michael" Williams, 32, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after authorities say he sold the weapon that Malik Faisal Akram used when he entered Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, on Jan. 15 and held the synagogue's rabbi and three others hostage for hours.
The attorney listed for Williams in court records did not immediately respond Wednesday to a phone message and email seeking comment.
Akram, a 44-year-old British citizen, held hostages in the Dallas-area suburb while demanding the release of a federal prisoner. The standoff ended after more than 10 hours when the temple's rabbi threw a chair at Akram and fled with the other two remaining hostages just as an FBI tactical team was moving in. None of the hostages were injured.
The counter-terrorism force Policing North West said the two men were arrested in the northern English city of Manchester. They were being held for questioning and have not yet been charged.
The police force did not disclose details about the two men. British police do not release names and details of detainees until they are charged.
Akram was originally from the town of Blackburn in northwest England.
The hostages said Akram cited antisemitic stereotypes, and authorities said Akram was demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist convicted of trying to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan and who is serving a lengthy sentence in a prison near Colleyville.
British media reported that Akram was investigated by MI5, the domestic security service, in the second half of 2020, but was deemed not to be a credible threat at the time.