Federal Charges Filed Against Man Accused Of Selling Gun To Synagogue Hostage-Taker

The Department of Justice said that a man has been charged with supplying a gun to Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British national who held a Colleyville synagogue hostage for about 11 hours.

On Jan. 13, just two days before the synagogue standoff that the FBI is investigating as a terrorist attack, Henry “Michael” Williams, 32, is suspected of selling Akram a semi-automatic Taurus G2C pistol. Authorities say the weapon was seized at the scene after federal agents fatally shot Akram.

After an FBI investigation discovered the two men “exchanged a series of calls between Jan. 11 and Jan. 13,” Williams was initially interviewed the day after the standoff. Williams told police at the time that he remembered meeting a man with a British accent but couldn’t recall his name.

In a news release, the Department of Justice stated, “Agents examined the defendant again on Jan. 24, after he was arrested on an outstanding state warrant.” “After seeing a photo of Mr. Akram, Mr. Williams verified that he sold the weapon to Mr. Akram at a South Dallas crossroads. The two phones were in close proximity on Jan. 13 according to both men’s cellular data.”

Akram allegedly informed the 32-year-old that the gun would be used for intimidation and “to extract money from someone with an outstanding obligation,” according to the 32-year-old.


Since Jan. 15, Dallas FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno has “worked around the clock” to figure out how Akram obtained a firearm, and the agency, together with federal, state, and local partners, “pledge to continue our efforts to safeguard our communities from violence,” he added.

Williams appeared in court on Wednesday afternoon, and a detention hearing is set for Monday.

“Federal firearm restrictions are intended to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.” Mr. Williams was forbidden from possessing, acquiring, or selling weapons as a convicted felon. “Whether he was aware of his buyer’s criminal intent is virtually moot – felons cannot have weapons, period, and the Justice Department is dedicated to pursuing those who do,” said Chad E. Meacham, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. “We appreciate the several officers and agents who jumped into action as soon as the synagogue hostage crisis erupted, and who worked tirelessly to track the weapon from Mr. Akram to Mr. Williams. That support is deserved by the rescued captives, the Beth Israel congregation, and indeed the entire Jewish community.”

In addition to Williams’ arrest, the Greater Manchester Police Department said Wednesday morning that two males were arrested and are being questioned in connection with the hostage situation in Manchester.

The Police Department posted on social media, “They remain in jail for interrogation.” “We’re still collaborating closely with colleagues from different forces.” Communities defeat terrorism, and the assistance and support we receive from the public is critical.”

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