Date
28 July 2017
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins has opened an investigation into the "attempted murder with terrorist intent". Photo: AFP
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins has opened an investigation into the "attempted murder with terrorist intent". Photo: AFP

French prosecutor insists train gunman had terrorist intent

The Paris prosecutor said the foiled attack by a gunman on a train between Amsterdam and Paris last week was an “attempted murder with terrorist intent”.

Francois Molins dismissed as “far-fetched” Moroccan Ayoub el Khazzani’s assertion that he had wanted to rob passengers on the high-speed train where he was wrestled to the ground by passengers, including two off-duty US servicemen, Reuters reported.

“Ayoub el Khazzani had watched whilst already on the Thalys train YouTube files in which an individual called on the faithful to fight and take up arms in the name of the Prophet,” Molins told a news conference.

Two people were wounded in the struggle on Friday to subdue the attacker, who had an assault rifle, a hand gun and some 270 bullets.

Speaking after Khazzani was charged following four days of questioning, Molins said the gunman had bought a first class ticket worth 149 euros (US$170), declining to take an earlier train despite it being cheaper.

“It seemed to be a premeditated and targeted project,” he said. “According to all the witness statements gathered, he had a resolute attitude and was determined to carry out his actions.”

Molins said Khazzani had claimed to have found a case containing a telephone, weapons and munitions in a public park where he was living the day before his departure.

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CG

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