I’m sure the unidentified would-be mass murderer (1) had the plan all worked out in his mind: Obtain automatic weapon, sneak it onto the Paris-Amsterdam train, and kill lots of people. Simple, right? But there was one small thing he didn’t account for…
The presence of US Marines on the same train:
La Voix du Nord, a newspaper in the Calais region, said a man was arrested on suspicion of firing the [Kalashnikov] on a Thalys train near the northern town of Arras.
Police say that have not ruled out terrorism as a possible motive and Bernard Cazeneuve, the French interior minister, has been summoned to the region.
The gunman, said to be of “North African origin,” is said to have been “taken down” by a group of US marines onboard the train.
According to Voix du Nord, the marines heard what appeared to be the sound of a gun being loaded coming from the toilets on the train.
They tried to detain him and the man fired, wounding three people, two of whom were struck by bullets, the newspaper reported.
Rather than freeze or run and hide, the Marines’ training kicked in and they “ran to the sound of the guns,” thus probably saving many, many lives. And remember, the three Marines were unarmed, while the jih… er… unidentified gunman had an AK. That was not a fair fight.
For the gunman.
via Mark Krikorian
(1) I have my suspicions as to his identity, as I’m sure you do, but I’ll wait for confirmation.
UPDATE: From the Daily Mail via Rick Moran, the shooter was a Moroccan national known to French authorities and who had attended radical mosques. I think it’s safe to say it, now: This was another attempt at jihad — Islamic terrorism waged fi sabil Allah, for Allah’s sake.
Initial reports indicated three Marines confronted the jihadi; according to the Mail, there were two. Regardless, the sad news is that one is in critical condition.
One of the hero Marines who foiled a planned terror attack on a French train was fighting for his life after being shot in the neck while disarming the crazed gunman on Friday.
The two unarmed servicemen spotted the 26-year-old Moroccan acting suspiciously and heard him trying to arm his weapon in the toilet of the high speed train between Amsterdam and Paris.
The gunman got on the train in Brussels and attempted his attack soon after crossing the French border.
The 26-year-old Moroccan national, who was known to security services, came out of the toilet brandishing the gun and opened fire. Fortunately, two US Marines were nearby and overpowered him before he could massacre passengers.
The suspected terrorist had at least nine full magazines of ammunition holding almost 300 rounds. He was also carrying a knife.
Unfortunately, one of the Marines was shot and is believed to be in a critical condition. It is feared that he was shot in the neck by the gunman.
The French Interior Minister was unstinting in his praise:
Speaking in Arras, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve praised the Marines for their timely intervention.
He said: ‘Thanks to them we have averted a drama.
‘(The Americans were) particularly courageous and showed extreme bravery in extremely difficult circumstances.’
They would probably say they were just doing their jobs.