The man who took four people hostage at a Colleyville synagogue last weekend reportedly searched the Internet for gun and pawn shops and influential rabbis before the siege, which ended when an FBI team stormed the building and killed him.
Law-enforcement officials who spoke anonymously to The Washington Post said Malik Faisal Akram left a trail of digital evidence that was indicative of his plans and state of mind leading up to the Jan. 15 attack.
For about two weeks before Akram, 44, took hostages at Congregation Beth Israel, he searched for gun and pawn shops in the Dallas area, The Post reported.
But law-enforcement officials say they believe he bought the gun on the street, rather than at a store. Authorities are still investigating how Akram, a British national who arrived in the United States in late December, obtained the gun.
According to The Post, the gun was last sold in early 2020 before it was stolen from a hotel later in the year. The report did not mention whether the gun was stolen in Dallas or elsewhere.
Akram also made searches for Aafia Siddiqui, a convicted terrorist incarcerated in Fort Worth whose release he demanded during the 11-hour standoff.
Other searches included New York City-based Rabbi Anhela Buchdahl. The Post reported that searches “also led him to focus on his ultimate target,” Congregation Beth Israel, but did not specify what exactly he searched for.
Each of the four hostages was released or escaped unharmed. Akram was shot several times by an FBI team that stormed the building, authorities said.
Federal law enforcement is continuing to trace Akram’s path since he arrived in the United States from Great Britain. The FBI on Friday described the attack as both an act of terror and a hate crime.