Colleyville synagogue deadlocked: Man selling weapons to suspect charged with federal weapons charges

COLLEYVILLE, Texas — A man who allegedly sold firearms in the Dallas area to the gunman who took four hostages in a North Texas synagogue earlier this month has been charged with federal firearms, a federal prosecutor speak Wednesday.

The video above is from an earlier report.

Henry “Michael” Williams, 32, was arrested by state warrant in Texas on Monday, officials said. Williams is being charged with a felony possession of a firearm, according to a statement from the US Department of Justice. Williams had previously been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted possession of a controlled substance, officials said. Williams’ attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Authorities said Malik Faisal Akram took four hostages on January 15 during a standoff that lasted about 11 hours at Beth Israel’s Colleyville Church, a synagogue northeast of Fort Worth. The FBI said it was treating the incident as an act of terrorism and hate crime.

SEE RELATED STORY: The situation of taking hostages at the TX synagogue ended with all safe places, the suspect died; UK detains 2 teenagers

Williams initially told investigators he remembered meeting a man with a British accent but he could not remember his name, the Justice Department said. Akram is a British citizen. After viewing a photo of Akram, Williams confirmed that he sold a handgun to him at an intersection in South Dallas, two days before Akram attacked the synagogue, the press release said. . Williams is said to have told officers that Akram said the gun – a semi-automatic Taurus G2C pistol – would be used to “threat” someone who owed him money. Officials said the weapon was later recovered from the scene of the incident.

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“Federal firearms laws are designed to keep firearms from falling into dangerous hands. As a convicted felon, Mr. Williams is prohibited from carrying, buying or selling firearms. Regardless of whether he knew the nefarious intentions of the gunman. Buyer or not is largely irrelevant – the felony must not have a gun, the term, and the Department of Justice is committed to prosecuting those who do,” US Attorney Chad E. Meacham said in a statement.

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Akram was in the US on a tourist visa, according to Related press. This means that he is not legally allowed to buy guns in the United States.

The FBI Dallas office assisted in locating the seller, the Justice Department said. Williams became attached to Akram through analysis of cell phone records, which showed that the two exchanged calls between January 11 and 13. It is unclear how Akram and Williams communicated in the first place. . Akram was in at least three homeless shelters in North Texas before the attack, according to Dallas Morning News.

Williams made his first appearance Wednesday in U.S. Northern District Court for the Northern District of Texas. A hearing on his detention will be held on Monday, and the court has ordered his detention in a correctional facility pending.

Attacks and hate crimes against Jews are on the rise in the US, according to anti-hate groups. Religious leaders in Texas have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours to enhance security in their places of worship in recent years.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans – and interacts with them – about public policy, politics, government, and statewide issues. Colleyville synagogue deadlocked: Man selling weapons to suspect charged with federal weapons charges

Dais Johnston

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