While it was widely reported the two unarmed Americans who stopped Islamic terrorist, Ayoub El-Khazzani, were Marines, they were in fact Air Force airman Spencer Stone and Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos. Which just goes to show you that ALL our warriors in uniform will step up to the plate when needed.
Watch them describe how they managed to stop the attack.
As the Daily Mail reports, “during Friday’s attack, El-Khazzani, 25, allegedly burst out of a toilet cubicle on the train and fired his rifle once, wounding a French-American citizen.
However, his weapon then jammed, giving his would-be victims their chance to pounce.
Air Force serviceman Spencer Stone, of Carmichael, California, Alek Skarlatos, a National Guardsman from Oregon, and their childhood friend, Anthony Sadler, a university senior, confronted El-Khazzani and wrestled his rifle, a handgun and nine magazines of bullets from him.
They then shoved him to the ground and beat him unconscious, with the help of British businessman Chris Norman, 62, it is reported.
In the attack, El-Khazzani pulled out a box cutter knife, slashed Stone in the neck and ‘almost cut his thumb off’ in the melee.
But despite his injuries Stone gave first aid to another man bleeding heavily from a neck wound before the train made an unscheduled stop in the northern French town of Arras ten minutes later, where it was met by dozens of armed police and paramedics.”
As in other cases we’ve seen here in the United States (such as the Boston Bombers), El-Khazzani was already on terror watch lists. The question remains, how was he able to travel freely around Europe?
The Mail says the 26-year-old Morocco-born El-Khazzani “alarmingly had already been on government officials’ radars in four European countries before he carried out Friday evening’s terror attack.
He had been deemed a terrorist threat following the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris – and had apparently fought with ISIS in Syria earlier this year.
Questions are now being asked as to how El-Khazzani was able to move freely around Europe, despite being widely known as ‘potentially dangerous.’
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Saturday that Spanish authorities had flagged the jihadi to French officials last February because he belongs to the ‘radical Islamist movement’ – something El-Khazzani appeared to support on his Facebook page, which has since been deleted. El-Khazzani, who was reportedly radicalized while living in Spain, was subsequently placed on an intelligence watch list in France.”
He had apparently fought with ISIS in Syria earlier this year.
But as more and more attacks occur in Western countries from these Islamic jihadis, there is little comfort in a “watch list” if all it allows us to do is “watch” these terrorists carry out their attacks.
Thank goodness we have brave (and sometimes armed) people who are willing to fight back against the enemy. As long as they’re not in uniform, they become heroes – Obama called to commend Stone and Skarlatos. Had they been in uniform like Charles Martland or Timothy White, it would probably be a different story. Ironic, isn’t it?