Local NewsDallas Man Who Allegedly Sold a Pistol to the Texas Synagogue Terrorist Charged with Federal Crime

The individual, a convicted felon, who provided the gun to the Colleyville terrorist was charged with illegal possession of a firearm.
January 26, 2022
A Dallas man and previously convicted felon named Henry “Michael” Williams has been charged with illegally possessing a firearm that he sold to the terrorist who took a synagogue hostage in Colleyville earlier this month.

When he hijacked the synagogue during services on the Jewish Sabbath, Malik Faisal Akram possessed a pistol. Williams, authorities say, sold Akram that pistol on January 13 — two days before he committed the act of terrorism.

Akram also told authorities and the hostages that he had explosives, but the FBI has said no evidence supporting that claim has been found.

“Federal firearm laws are designed to keep guns from falling into dangerous hands,” said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham. 

“As a convicted felon, Mr. Williams was prohibited from carrying, acquiring, or selling firearms. Whether or not he knew of his buyer’s nefarious intent is largely irrelevant — felons cannot have guns, period, and the Justice Department is committed to prosecuting those who do.”

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Williams, age 32, told authorities Akram said the weapon was “for ‘intimidation’ to get money from someone with an outstanding debt.” The FBI tied Williams to Akram using cell phone records that showed multiple calls between the two in the days prior to the attack.

The weapon that exchanged hands was a Taurus G2C pistol, which Williams could not legally possess being a convicted felon stemming from a previous aggravated assault charge.

Akram’s stand-off with authorities ended after 11 hours on January 15 when the hostages, including the shul’s rabbi, managed to escape unscathed. The rabbi threw a chair at Akram, which provided a window for escape. Akram was shot dead when agents breached the synagogue moments after the hostages escaped.

It is known that Akram, a British citizen, entered the U.S. through John F. Kennedy International Airport two weeks before the incident, after which he made his way to the Dallas-Fort Worth area where he hopped around homeless shelters. His stated goal was to use the hostages to exchange for the freedom of Aafia Siddiqui, a convicted Al Qaeda terrorist who is currently held in a Fort Worth prison.

Williams and Akram exchanged the weapon at an intersection in South Dallas, according to the release. 

“When agents first interviewed Mr. Williams on [January] 16, Mr. Williams stated that he recalled meeting a man with a British accent, but that he could not recall the man’s name,” it read. Williams was then arrested on January 24 again on an unrelated state warrant, after which the suspect identified Akram as the man to whom he sold the pistol.

Williams made his first appearance before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Wednesday, and a detention hearing is set for the last day of January.

Two British teenagers were arrested a week ago in Manchester in connection with Akram’s attack but were later released without being charged. On Wednesday, Manchester police arrested two more men in connection with the incident.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.

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