Texas hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram’s life ‘fell apart’ after divorce, brother says

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Texas hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram's life 'fell apart’ after divorce, brother says

Texas hostage-taker Malik Faisal Akram had been a successful British businessman — until his life fell apart at the end of his 12-year marriage, according to his brother.

The 44-year-old Brit, who was shot dead at the end of Saturday’s 10-hour synagogue siege, ran a thriving chain of pharmacies in England named after his then-wife, Farzana, his brother Gulbar told The Times of London.

But Akram lost them all after his marriage broke down in 2016 — the same year that he was first flagged as a possible terrorism threat, according to the UK paper.

“He was bitter because he felt like she took everything away from him when they split up, especially his children,” Gulbar said of the couple’s six kids.

Akram was also enraged that his wife left after he had helped her family go “from rags to riches,” even buying them “the second-best mansion” in their Pakistan village, the 43-year-old brother said.

Malik Faisal Akram had been a successful British businessman before his life took a turn near the end of his 12-year marriage, according to his brother.
Malik Faisal Akram had been a successful British businessman before his life took a turn near the end of his 12-year marriage, according to his brother.
Our Calling

He also “paid for all her brothers to get jobs abroad and paid for her father’s cancer drugs and treatments,” Gulbar said.

In May 2016, Akram was given a 28-day domestic violence protection order at a magistrates’ court, The Times said, citing court papers.

He also appeared to become more extremist in his Islamic views, and that same year was first reported to “Prevent,” a UK counter-terrorism program.

Malik Faisal Akram was enraged that his wife left him after helping her family financially, even paying for all her brothers to get jobs abroad and paying for her father’s cancer treatments.
Malik Faisal Akram was enraged that his wife left him after helping her family financially, even paying for all her brothers to get jobs abroad and paying for her father’s cancer treatments.
AP

Akram was also investigated by British intelligence service MI5 in 2020, but was not deemed a threat at the time — leaving him free to fly to New York on Dec. 29, buying a gun and then taking hostages at the synagogue in suburban Dallas, the UK paper said.

He had called Gulbar during the siege, saying during a vile anti-Semitic rant that he was seeking martyrdom and would come “home in a f–king body bag.”

He had also demanded the release of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted in Manhattan Federal Court in 2010 of trying to kill US authorities in Afghanistan. She is being held in prison in Fort Worth.

Police stand in front of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue during the 10-hour hostage carried out by Malik Faisal Akram.
Police stand in front of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue during the 10-hour hostage carried out by Malik Faisal Akram.
AP

Akram was shot by agents who stormed Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville after the hero rabbi threw a chair at him. The rabbi and his three congregants all escaped unharmed.

The UK paper said it was unable to reach Akram’s ex-wife for comment.

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