“‘How was he allowed into the US to begin with?’ House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy demands answers from the Biden administration about how British synagogue gunman with criminal convictions was let into America,” by Elizabeth Elkind and Jennifer Smith, DailyMail.com, January 18, 2022:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is demanding President Joe Biden’s White House answer how a UK national with a criminal history was allowed to fly to the United States where he held four people hostage at a synagogue in Texas over the weekend.
In addition to condemning the attack, he and other national Republican figures like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have been grilling the administration over its handling of the incident.
Many accused the president of directing more federal law enforcement resources toward American parents protesting Critical Race Theory and mask mandates in public schools.
There is growing outrage and demand for answers as to how the British terrorist gunman who took four hostages at a synagogue in Colleyville on Saturday was even able to enter the US on a tourist visa when he was known to intelligence agencies in the UK.
The FBI has declined to comment on the matter.
Malik Faisal Akram, 44, flew to New York City from the UK on January 22, despite being known to MI5 and having a criminal record.
‘Over the past 48 hours, President Biden’s Justice Department has gone from denying the clear and religious, anti-Semitic implications of this attack to now backtracking to what we all already knew to be true. Now as more information becomes available, it only raises more questions,’ McCarthy said in a statement first sent to DailyMail.com.
The top GOP lawmaker in the House of Representatives accused Biden officials of ‘downplaying’ the attack and demanded to know why the FBI ‘initially disregard[ed] the role anti-Semitism played in this hostage situation.’
‘How was it that someone with an apparent criminal record and suspicious travel history was allowed into the United States to begin with?’ he also questioned. ‘What national security concerns remain?’…
Akram’s family say he had a criminal history but somehow, he was able to get an ESTA tourist visa – which are supposed to be off-limits to foreigners who have broken the law.
Akram spent two weeks at a homeless shelter in Dallas, during which time he was able to buy a gun on the street….
‘How long did the FBI know a radical Islamist foreign national with a criminal record was in the country? Were they working with him or his associates?
‘How did this person get a visa? Did he slip through the cracks because they were too busy surveilling your conservative grandma?’ Donald Trump Jr. tweeted.
‘They don’t want us to talk about how a known jihadist got past the FBI and into the country, obtained an illegal firearm, and took hostages at a synagogue,’ Jasec Posobiec said.
Stephen Miller, Trump’s former adviser, tweeted that ‘every journalist’ should be asking whether Biden changing vetting laws for tourists contributed to the incident.
The Independent reports that Akram was known to MI5 but that they didn’t consider him a severe threat.
It’s unclear what he said in his application for an ESTA tourist visa, which asks whether or not applicants have a criminal record.
The ESTA website claims checks will be carried out to see if an applicant has any undisclosed criminal convictions on file.
But according to social justice charity Nacro, the US authorities do not have access to criminal records held on the UK’s Police National Computer.
There was equal outrage in the UK, where lawmakers demanded to know how he was able to by-pass America’s immigration rules, which are known to be some of the strictest in the world.
Tory MP Bob Seely told MailOnline there seemed to have been a ‘dreadful’ error at the UK and US borders caused by an ‘intelligence failure’ and it needed to be looked at.
‘This is clearly a failure of intelligence sharing. It is absolutely dreadful that he has been allowed to go to the States and hurt people.
‘Clearly something has gone wrong somewhere,’ he said.
Another senior MP with knowledge of the security services voiced surprise that the background had not been picked up. ‘How did he get into the US?’ they said. ‘You get picked up for walking on the cracks in the pavement.’
Yesterday, his brother, Gulbar, demanded how he was allowed into America despite a long criminal record.
He said Malik was mentally ill and was mourning the death of his brother three months ago, reportedly from Covid.
The extent of his criminal record is not yet clear, but it may be that some of his offences may have been too petty or too old to stop him being turned away from the United States’ border.