World Asia & Americas US servicemen who foiled Daesh terror attack on train...

US servicemen who foiled Daesh terror attack on train appear in court in France

-

Two US servicemen and their friend who foiled a Daesh (ISIS) terror attack have appeared in a Paris court as witnesses.

US National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, US airman Spencer Stone and student Anthony Sadler will give evidence in the case against Moroccan Ayoub El Khazzani.

El Khazzani is accused of planning to kill hundreds of train passengers in a gun attack on 21 August 2015.

A month-long trial for the 31-year-old and his three suspected accomplices started yesterday. If convicted of attempted terrorist murder, he will face life imprisonment.

The attempted attack is believed to have been planned from Syria and led by Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who led a series of 2015 assaults on Paris, including the Bataclan Theatre attack.

In the Daesh-inspired attack, El Khazzani boarded a Thalys high-speed train to Paris, in Brussels, carrying a Kalashnikov with nine magazines with 30 rounds of ammunition each.

The 31-year-old was carrying an automatic pistol, a cutter, and a bottle of highly flammable yellow liquid, the judge said yesterday.

The Moroccan, who was bare-chested and may have been on drugs, according to a Metro report, was stopped by the three American tourists, who tackled him to the ground.

READ: France repatriates 10 children from Syrian camps

The men, all from California, said they had acted on “gut instinct”, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.

Stone, joined by British businessman Chris Norman, reportedly choked El Khazzini until he was unconscious.

The US airman then administered first aid, saving the life of French-American Mark Magoolian who had been shot in an earlier attempt to neutralise El Khazzini.

The train was then re-routed to Arras, in northern France, where El Khazzini was arrested by local police.

The three Americans have been praised for saving the lives of the 150 passengers in El Khazzini’s carriage and for preventing a “slaughter”, the court heard.

The attorney, Thibault de Montbrial, went on to term the Americans’ actions a “very brave intervention”.

“This terror attack could have killed up to 300 people based on the number of ammunition that was found on the terrorist and in his bag,” De Montbrial added.

The three US nationals and Briton Chris Norman were honoured with French citizenship and made members of the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest award.

The events inspired the movie “The 15:17 To Paris“, directed by Clint Eastwood, which features the three Americans re-enacting the scene as themselves.

Eastwood was on the witness list for the trial, however, the court decided yesterday that because he was not a direct witness to the crime, he does not need to testify.

READ: Austria arrests 30 Hamas, Muslim Brothehood members, in crackdown on Islamism

Leave a Reply

Latest news

2020 GITEX to host 20 Iranian Knowledge-based firms tomorrow

TEHRAN, Dec. 05 (MNA) – 20 Iranian knowledge-based firms and startups will participate at the 40th international exhibition of...

OPEC exempts Libya from oil production cut

Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced on Friday that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had exempted it...

Kenya Power Explains Major Power Outage in Nairobi Estates

Residents from a number of Nairobi estates on Saturday, December 5, reported a power outage in their areas. In a statement,...

“Wider questions about Sinn Féin” must be answered after Stanley controversy, minister says

A Government minister says Brian Stanley's comments glorifying two IRA attacks raise wider questions about Sinn Féin's views on...

Uhuru’s Reaction as Bishop Throws Shade on BBI [VIDEO]

There was a rather awkward moment after CITAM Presiding Bishop David Oginde told President Uhuru Kenyatta that he had abandoned the church...

Iran, Congo discuss expansion of bilateral relations

The new Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Javad Shariati, met and held talks with the Minister...

Must read

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you