“It’s my previous year in college”.
The identify of El Khazzani’s was established through DNA analysis and matches the DNA records Spanish authorities had on file, according to French media.
In the meantime, one of the three Americans came into the vehicle to report the gunman had been overpowered.
He said the anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office in Paris would investigate.
Train operator Thalys said that travellers were safe and the situation was under control.
“The man was armed with automatic weapons and knives”.
Crouching behind their seats, the Americans decided they had to act.
An official linked to Spain’s anti-terrorism unit said the suspect lived in Spain until 2014, then moved to France, travelled to Syria, and then returned to France. French authorities have been on heightened alert since Islamic extremist attacks in January left 20 people dead, including the three attackers.
Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento State University, was traveling with childhood friends Stone, of Carmichael, California, and Alek Skarlatos, a National Guardsman from Roseburg, Oregon.
Norman, who said he was sitting at the front of the auto, saw a train employee dash past.
“Spencer ran a good 10 meters to get to the guy”.
Spencer Stone, who serves in the US Air Force, was first to the gunman who slashed him in the neck and nearly sliced off his thumb with a box-cutter.
“Then during the process, the guy actually came out, he pulled out a cutter and started cutting Spencer”, he said.
With that kind of firepower, a massacre might have occurred if three American friends traveling together and a British passenger had not tackled, beaten and tied up the suspect, authorities said.
Throughout the brief but terrifying episode, Sadler told the AP, “The gunman never said a word”.
The perpetrator of a shooting attack on a French train on Friday may be a Moroccan identified in 2014 to French police by Spanish intelligence services as having Islamist militant connections, France’s Interior Minister said on Saturday.
In Washington, the Pentagon said it “can only confirm that one U.S. military member was injured in the incident”.
Stone was released from a hospital in Lille, France, on Saturday.
Stone was set to undergo surgery Saturday morning after he had his finger almost severed, according to his family.
Mr Skarlatos had returned from a deployment in Afghanistan in July with the National Guard, his stepmother Karen Skarlatos said.
Stone’s mother called her son a hero.
Along with two others – a French national and a Briton – they charged at him, tackled him and subdued him, officials said.
Mr Norman and the two uninjured Americans were awarded a bravery medal from the local mayor.
Stone then went to help a Franco-American passenger who had been shot in the shoulder during the fight.
French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade was also lightly wounded when breaking glass to sound the alarm.
It could have been a real carnage if the gunman wasn’t overpowered, said passengers.
He said, “We heard passengers shouting in English, ‘He’s firing, he’s firing”.
“People are alive because of them”, Skarlatos said through tears.
“We owe them greatly for their composure and braveness”, he said, adding that they prevented a bigger tragedy.
“Spencer just ran anyway and if anyone would’ve gotten shot, it would’ve been Spencer for sure”. I pay homage to their heroic courage and thank them. “We’ve seen enough of these attacks to know that they will kill everyone”.
The suspect is a 26-year-old Moroccan, according to Sliman Hamzi, an official with the Alliance police union, who spoke on French television i-Tele. Belgium has opened its own anti-terror investigation.