“They let James Foley die, they let him die and they didn’t release her but guess what? Maybe they’ll have compassion for f**king Jews.” So said Faisal Akram whilst standing in a synagogue in Texas holding four Jewish community members hostage. The dramatic phone call, published by the Jewish Chronicle, between Akram and his brother, gives more information about his extremism, radicalisation and antisemitism than Akram had probably intended.
The journeys that extremists and terrorists take, both physically and digitally, are often unique and deeply instructive in explaining their final target selection. The 4,600-mile journey from Blackburn to Colleyville, Texas on its own raises some questions for intelligence and law enforcement agencies across the world. However, the digital journey that took Akram to a point where he thought it was rational to target the “f**king jews” raises a lot more question for us as a Jewish community and as a wider society.