A Moroccan guy goes on trial in France this Monday accused of an attempted terror attack on an Amsterdam-Paris train 5 years ago which was foiled by guests whose brave actions were developed into a Hollywood film.
Director Clint Eastwood, 90, is on the witness list for the trial in Paris, and it is believed his 2018 movie, The 15: 17 To Paris, will serve as a reconstruction of the occasions of 21 August2015
Ayoub El Khazzani was tackled by guests, consisting of two off-duty American servicemen, soon after emerging bare-chested and greatly armed from a toilet on a Thalys high-speed train.
Some 150 travelers were in the carriage with him.
Mr Khazzani had an AK47 slung over his back, a bag of nearly 300 rounds of ammunition, and seemed “in a hypnotic trance”, according to a young Frenchman waiting in the passageway, and the very first to attempt to subdue Khazzani.
Another traveler, a Franco-American teacher, pertained to the Frenchman’s help, grabbing Mr Khazzani’s assault rifle.
The enemy took a pistol out of his belt, shot and wounded the professor and reclaimed the AK47, just to be tackled afresh and disarmed by two American soldiers – Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos – who heard the commotion from a neighbouring carriage.
The soldiers were aided by their buddy Anthony Sadler, with whom they were backpacking through Europe.
Mr Stone was slashed in the neck and on the eyebrow and nearly had his thumb trimmed with a box-cutter wielded by Mr Khazzani.
” He had 270 rounds of ammo on him, enough to kill 300 individuals,” according to Thibault de Montbrial, the lawyer for the three Americans hoping to attend the trial at a special anti-terror court from Monday.
According to the legal representative, there was no doubt his clients had actually prevented a “mass attack.”
Mr Khazzani, who joined the Islamic State group in Syria in May 2015, is charged with “attempted terrorist murder”, and will be joined in the dock by 3 other guys implicated of helping him.
De Montbrial stated the Americans, who played themselves in Eastwood’s film, dream to attend the trial since they “wish to tell” their story and “check out the eyes of the male they dealt with”.
Nevertheless, they might not make it to Paris due to coronavirus constraints.
The Thalys attack happened in the very same year as the January 2015 massacre of personnel at the Charlie Hebdo satirical publication, the killing of a policewoman, and the fatal captive siege at the Hyper Cacher market – which left an overall of 17 dead.
In November the same year, jihadists equipped with attack rifles and explosives struck outside the nationwide stadium, Paris cafes and the Bataclan concert hall, killing 130 people and injuring more than 350 in the deadliest peacetime attack in France’s history.
Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud is thought to have actually been one of the masterminds behind the Thalys and 13 November attacks, along with others in Europe, consisting of the Brussels bombings of March 2016 that killed 32 civilians.
Abaaoud was killed by police in a Paris residential area 5 days after he shot indiscriminately at jam-packed coffee shop balconies in Paris on the night of the coordinated 13 November attacks.
The Khazzani trial comes at a time of heightened security alert in France following 3 attacks blamed on jihadists in a month – a knife attack outside Charlie Hebdo’s previous offices, the beheading of a history teacher, and a fatal stabbing spree at a church in Nice.
” We need to remain calm and extensive despite current disasters,” stated Lea Dordilly, a lawyer for co-accused Bilal Chatra, who was 19 at the time of the thwarted train attack.
He was apparently hired in Turkey by Abaaoud, and is believed of being an advance scout for Khazzani in getting into Europe via the migrant trail from Syria.
Khazzani does not reject having actually boarded the train with the intent of committing an attack, but declares to have had a change of heart at the last minute, too late to avoid the confrontation with the Americans.
His legal representative Sarah Mauger-Poliak declares Khazzani is a changed male who has turned down radical Islamist teaching and regrets his actions.
The trial is set up to last up until 17 December.