French train gunman has been in Syria

A Belgian police officer patrols at the Thalys train terminal in Brussels, where the gunman boarded the train. (Reuters)

ARA News 

Amsterdam – Three people were wounded Saturday after a gunman opened fire on a high-speed train heading from Amsterdam to Paris. 

The 26-year-old gunman, identified as a Moroccan national, was armed with a Kalashnikov and a knife, security sources said.

The suspect was reportedly subdued by two U.S. military servicemen who were among the train’s passengers. French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement that the men were “particularly courageous and showed extreme bravery in extremely difficult circumstances”.

The gunman was arrested in Arras in northern France, where the train stopped subsequent to the shooting. 

Security sources reported that the suspect has been in Syria for months, where he received training at the hands of the Islamic State radical group. 

“If the identity he has declared is confirmed, he is a 26-year-old man of Moroccan nationality identified by the Spanish authorities to French intelligence services in February 2014 because of his connections to the radical Islamist movement,” Cazeneuve said.

A Spanish official told the Associated Press that the suspect lived in Spain until 2014 “before moving to France and then making a trip to Syria”.

ARA News, agencies

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