French prosecutors have announced that the train shooting last week in France was “premeditated” and “well prepared for”.
Ayoub El-Khazzani allegedly carried 270 bullets along with an assault rifle and a bottle of petrol, and intended to massacre the passengers on board.
However, thanks to the efforts of 3 Americans on board, 2 of whom just so happened to be military personnel, that carnage was largely thwarted leaving nobody dead.
Since the attack, US train companies have announced the possibility of introducing airport style security at train stations.
BBC News reports:
“Ayoub El-Khazzani had watched YouTube audio files whilst already on the Thalys train in which an individual called on the faithful to fight and take up arms in the name of the Prophet [Muhammad],” Mr Molins told a news conference.
He said a formal terrorism investigation had been opened, adding that other European authorities had passed on information about the suspect’s travels and links to radical Islam.
Investigators are expected to file several charges against him, including multiple attempted murders in connection with terrorism.
Under French law, the charges must be filed by Tuesday night unless authorities obtain a special extension to his temporary custody.
Mr Molins said El-Khazzani was “known for his radicalism” and had recently travelled to Turkey – “a possible route to Syria”.
The suspect is said to have denied plotting a terrorist attack, saying he found a bag of weapons the night before and planned to use them to rob passengers.
But the prosecutor said El-Khazzani’s explanation became less and less clear during questioning before the suspect stopped talking to investigators altogether.