Republican House members urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to answer questions about why the Texas synagogue hostage taker was allowed to enter the country in a Wednesday letter.
“Last month, my community experienced a terrorist attack by British national, Malik Faisal Akram, which threatened the lives of members of Congregation Beth Israel,” Texas Rep. Beth Van Duyne told the Daily Caller News Foundation. The attack occurred in her district.
“The appalling approach this Administration has taken to national security has proven to have deadly consequences over the past year and almost did again in Colleyville last month,” Van Duyne said.
Malik Faisal Akram, a British national, has a lengthy criminal record and was described by his brother as a “deeply troubled man,” the letter explained. Akram entered the U.S. in December 2021 and held four individuals hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 15.
During the incident, Akram reportedly demanded that the U.S. release a convicted terrorist from a nearby federal facility while he held the hostages at gunpoint for 11 hours.
The letter to DHS Secretary Mayorkas demanded answers regarding how and why Akram was allowed to enter the U.S., explaining that the information could lead to “informed policy changes.”
The representatives asked if the U.K. shared information about Akram’s criminal record or the U.K.’s counterterrorism investigation of him with U.S. intelligence agencies. They also asked whether the DHS ignored protocols that would have prevented Akram’s entry.
The letter asked about the vetting process for new visas and whether Mayorkas agrees with President Biden’s decision to revoke executive orders that strengthened vetting protocols for those entering the country.
“While we can speculate how gaps in the federal vetting process allowed for a suspected criminal to enter into the United States, Texans, and all Americans, deserve clear answers and full transparency from the federal officials charged with ensuring the security of our homeland,” Texas Rep. August Pfluger, ranking member on the Homeland Security Intelligence and Counterterrorism Subcommittee, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“We deserve assurances that we are doing everything in our power to prevent terrorists and criminals from endangering our families.”
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