Texas synagogue terrorist was banned from a UK court after 9/11 rant

·3 min read
Malik Faisal Akram, 44, from Blackburn was named as the attacker
Malik Faisal Akram, 44, from Blackburn was named as the attacker

The British terrorist shot and killed after a 10-hour siege in a Texas synagogue had been banned from a British court for ranting about the 9/11 attacks.

Malik Faisal Akram from Blackburn, told an usher at his local magistrates court that he wished the court official had died on one of the planes that flew into the Twin Towers.

The 44-year-old was subsequently banned from the court for threatening and abusing staff. A senior court clerk later described him as a “menace”.

Reports at the time in September 2001 said that Akram had caused regular trouble in the court “even when he isn’t due before the bench”.

The case will raise issues about how Akram managed to fly to the US a fortnight before the attack on the synagogue.

Akram, who suffered from serious mental health issues, died when the FBI stormed the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Coleyville on Saturday.

The four hostages, including the rabbi, held by Akram were freed without coming to harm.

Akram was banned from the court four months after he had been sent a warning letter over a previous incident. At the time he denied any wrongdoing, claiming: “I’m innocent. This is nothing to do with me because I didn’t say that. People at the court have just got it in for me because they don’t like me.”

Lancashire magistrates’ committee decided to exclude him the day after the 9/11 attacks. The Exclusion Order was made under Section 12 of the Contempt of Court Act and had only ever been used once before at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court in the previous 25 years.

Akram was also the subject of two reports being filed to the Lord Chancellor.

Abuse hurled at court staff

A letter from Peter Wells, the deputy justice clerk, confirming the ban and reported at the time by the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, said: “Once again, you were threatening and abusive towards court staff. In a clear reference to the the terrorist attack on New York the previous day, you said on more than one occasion to one of my court ushers ‘you should have been on the ******* plane’.

“This caused a great deal of distress to an individual who was simply doing his job and should not be subjected to your foul abuse.”

He added: “With immediate effect, it has been decided that in order to protect and ensure the health and safety of staff you should be excluded from and prohibited from entering the court building at all times, other than when due to appear in court to answer a summons or surrender to bail or to make a payment in respect of any outstanding financial penalty owed by you.

“If you are found in the building for any other purpose, you will be asked to leave and police assistance will be sought if necessary. If you are entitled to enter the building for any of the reasons outlined earlier, you will be required to leave as soon as your case has been dealt with or a payment has been made, as the case may be.

“Be aware that the decision to exclude you will be enforced and any repetition of previous misbehaviour will not be tolerated.”

A copy of the letter to Akram was sent to his solicitor and to Blackburn Police.

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