Texas man charged with selling gun to British synagogue hostage-taker

26 January 2022, 22:06 | Updated: 26 January 2022, 22:11

The hostage situation took place at a Texas synagogue
The hostage situation took place at a Texas synagogue. Picture: Getty

By Emma Soteriou

A Texas man has been charged with selling a gun to a British man who held four people hostage inside a synagogue earlier this month before being shot dead by the FBI.

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Henry "Michael" Williams was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after authorities found that he sold a weapon to hostage-taker Maisal Faisal Akram.

Akram - originally from Blackburn - held a rabbi and three others hostage for hours after entering Congregation Beth Israel in Colleysville, Texas, on January 15.

Williams sold Akram a semi-automatic pistol on January 13 - two days before the hostage-taking. prosecutors said.

The stand-off ended after more than 10 hours when the temple's rabbi threw a chair at Akram and fled with the other two remaining hostages just as an FBI tactical team was moving in.

Read more: Two men arrested in Manchester over Texas synagogue siege

Read more: Police given extra time to question two men over Texas synagogue attack

Final conversation between Texas synagogue attacker and brother who urges his surrender

It comes after police arrested two men in Manchester as part of an investigation into the attack.

Williams initially told investigators the day after Akram was killed that he recalled meeting a man with a British accent but did not remember his name.

As part of a separate interview the following week, authorities said Williams was shown a photo of Akram and confirmed that he sold him the weapon at an intersection in south Dallas.

He told investigators that Akram said he intended to use the gun to intimidate someone who owed an outstanding debt, according to authorities.

Dallas police arrested Williams on an outstanding warrant on Monday, and he told federal investigators that he sold the gun to Akram after being read his rights, according to charging documents.

Williams has previously been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted possession of a controlled substance.