A Texas man has been charged with selling a gun to a Briton who held four hostages inside a synagogue earlier this month before he was shot dead.
Henry “Michael” Williams has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after being accused of selling a weapon to Malik Faisal Akram just two days before the siege.
Akram, from Blackburn, used the gun when he entered Congregation Beth Israel in Colleysville, Texas, on 15 January.
He held the synagogue’s rabbi and three others hostage while demanding the release of an al Qaeda suspect during a 10-hour stand-off with the FBI.
The rabbi then threw a chair at Akram and a SWAT team swarmed the place of worship, shooting the 44-year-old hostage-taker dead.
All of the victims survived the ordeal and were released unharmed.
Prosecutors say Williams, who has previously been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted possession of a controlled substance, sold Akram a semi-automatic pistol.
He initially told investigators that he recalled meeting a man with a British accent but did not remember his name.
During a separate interview the following week, authorities said Williams was shown a photo of Akram and this time confirmed that he sold him the weapon at an intersection in south Dallas.
He added that Akram said he intended to use the gun to intimidate someone who owed an outstanding debt, authorities said.
More arrests made after two men released
Earlier on Wednesday, two men were arrested in Manchester as part of the investigation into the attack.
Both of them remain in custody for questioning, Greater Manchester Police said.
“Officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North West are continuing with their investigation following the events in Texas. They are working closely with and are supporting US law enforcement,” the force added.
Two men arrested in Birmingham and Manchester last week as part of the same probe have been released from custody with no further action.