France train gun­man ‘dumb­founded’ by ter­ror­ism al­le­ga­tions

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A heav­ily armed gun­man over­pow­ered by pas­sen­gers on a crowded train is “dumb­founded” by al­le­ga­tions of ter­ror­ism and de­nies any shot was fired, his lawyer said in com­ments broad­cast Sun­day.

The al­leged at­tacker, named as 25- year- old Moroccan na­tional Ayub El Khaz­zani, on Fri­day evening boarded a high-speed train in Brus­sels bound for Paris armed with a Kalash­nikov as­sault ri­fle, Luger au­to­matic pis­tol, nine car­tridge clips and a box-cut­ter.

Wit­nesses say he opened fire, in­jur­ing a man be­fore be­ing wres­tled to the floor and tied up, un­til the train stopped in the north­ern French city of Ar­ras where he was taken into po­lice cus­tody.

So­phie David, a lawyer as­signed to his case at the be­gin­ning of his de­ten­tion in Ar­ras but who is no longer rep­re­sent­ing him, said he de­nies fir­ing a sin­gle shot.

“He is dumb­founded that his act is be­ing linked to ter­ror­ism,” she told BFM-TV, adding the sus­pect who is be­lieved to have lived in Bel­gium de­scribes home­less man.

“He says that by chance he found a suit­case with a weapon, with a tele­phone, hid­den away.

“He said he found it in the park which is just next to the Midi Sta­tion in Brus­sels, where he of­ten sleeps with other home­less peo­ple.”

Ac­cord­ing to Khaz­zani, who does not speak French and whose com­ments were trans­lated by an in­ter­preter, he boarded the train to rob peo­ple, and had in­tended to

him­self as a break a win­dow and jump out to es­cape.

David said that when she told him some peo­ple were in­jured, he was “flab­ber­gasted.”

“He says that the Kalash­nikov didn’t work and he was brought un­der con­trol im­me­di­ately with­out a sin­gle shot be­ing fired,” David said.

She is no longer his lawyer as Khaz­zani has since been trans­ferred to Le­val­lois- Per­ret near Paris where he is be­ing ques­tioned by counter-ter­ror­ism of­fi­cers.

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