France has opened an investigation for attempted murder with terrorist intent into suspected Islamist gunman Ayoub el Khazzani, the heavily-armed Moroccan overpowered by passengers last Friday on a train between Amsterdam and Paris.
While those who tackled him have been rewarded as heroes, prosecutors say el Khazzani had 270 bullets for his assault rifle and had watched a jihadist video just before the failed attack.
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins told a news conference:
“Investigations will aim to ascertain the origin of the weapons seized, Ayoub el Khazzani’s movements and the ties he may have forged, help he may have benefited from and his source of finance.”
Molins also spoke of a “targeted” and “premeditated” attack – dismissing as far-fetched el Khazzani’s claims that he simply wanted to rob passengers, having found a case full of weapons in a public park.
He boarded the Thalys high-speed train in Brussels where security has been stepped up as Europe considers how to tackle the risk of terror on its railway network.
European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc has said security procedures for train travel will now be reassessed.