In the brief period before the attack, Akram appeared to fixate on Senior Rabbi Angela Buchdahl of New York City’s Central Synagogue.
By Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner
The terrorist who took four hostages at a Colleyville, Texas synagogue last weekend made extensive searches for the names of prominent rabbis in the days before the attack, particularly targeting the rabbi of one of New York’s largest synagogues.
Malik Faisal Akram made the searches during the two weeks he was in the United States after flying in without incident from his home in Britain, unnamed law enforcement officials told the Washington Post.
In the brief period before the attack, Akram appeared to fixate on Senior Rabbi Angela Buchdahl of New York City’s Central Synagogue, who has been a prominent Jewish leader for some time.
During the siege, Akram demanded to be put in contact with Buchdahl. In an interview last week hosted by the Anti-Defamation League, synagogue Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker revealed that Akram “mentioned her by name, because he knew that she played guitar.… He thought that she was the most influential rabbi.”
Apparently seized by antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish power, Akram wanted Buchdahl to help obtain the release of Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving a US prison sentence in Texas for attempting to kill US personnel in Afghanistan.
“Maybe they’ll have compassion for f***ing Jews,” Akram told his brother Gulbar during a chilling last phone call placed just before the hostages escaped, the FBI stormed in, and Akram was killed.
During the standoff, Cytron-Walker succeeded in contacting Buchdahl and relayed the terrorist’s demands; though, of course, she could do nothing.
Akram also searched for information on Siddiqui in the days before his attack, as well as gun stores and pawn shops in the Dallas area, the Post reported.
Law enforcement authorities do not believe that Akram legally purchased the weapon he used in the attack, which is being investigated as a terrorist incident.
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