American heroes who helped thwart terror attack in France speak

Calls are already growing for the two servicemen to receive military decorations from the French and U.S. governments. Skarlatos serves in the U.S. Air Force and Spencer in the Oregon National Guard. The third American is Anthony Sadler, a college student. “I jumped up and I was actually the fourth (person) to begin working on the terrorist”.


“The word “hero” has never been more appropriate”, Hartley said.

The three Americans, along with a frenchman who first confronted the gunman outside a toilet on the train, are to meet French President Francois Hollande on Monday. He has been released and passed on his thanks to the French nurses and doctors.

The gunman, identified as 26-year-old Moroccan Ayoub El-Khazzani, is detained and being questioned by French counterterrorism police outside Paris. A senior European counterterrorism official told CNN the suspect was linked to investigations into radical Islamist networks.

Three people were injured in the attack, including Stone.

“I saw he was squirting blood out of the left or right side of his neck”.

Three Americans and a Briton are together being hailed as heroes for tackling and disarming a gunman they encountered on a high-speed train traveling between Amsterdam and Paris Friday evening.

Stone’s traveling companions say he intervened to immobilize the suspect, and the gunman stabbed Stone with a box-cutter.

Kahzani’s lawyer said he denies claims by French authorities that he is involved in Islamic militancy, and that he had only meant to rob the train.

“As he was cocking it to shoot it, Alek just yells, ‘Spencer, go!’ And Spencer runs down the aisle”, Sadler told the AP. But French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says “several shots” went off, and the Telegraph reports that Franco-American professor Mark Moogalian, 51, was shot in the neck after he grabbed Khazzani’s AK-47 and the assailant fired another gun at him.

British businessman Chris Norman also joined in the fray.

“I’m still waiting to wake up”, he said.

Sadler described seeing a train employee running down the aisle, followed by a man with a rifle. So my first reaction was to sit down and hide.

Skarlatos said he first heard what sounded like a gunshot, then glass breaking before the gunman starting dashing through the vehicle with a rifle. Stone’s friend, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, said they had to act.

‘He is dumbfounded that his action is being characterised as terrorism, ‘ she said. He said they were “particularly courageous and showed great bravery in very hard circumstances”, the BBC quoted him as saying, “Without their composure we could have been confronted with a awful incident”. Alek took that. He took out a box cutter and was jabbing at me with that.


They continued to hit the gunman until he was unconscious and waited for authorities to arrive.

Ayob El Khazzani said he was on the train to rob people and had intended to break a window to escape