In an apparent terrorist incident that unfolded on a high-speed train between Paris and Amsterdam, some unarmed U.S. Marines jumped into action and were able to thwart a suspected terrorist attack that could’ve killed and wounded hundreds.
Unfortunately one of the Marines was shot during the attack and is reportedly in critical condition. Two other passengers were also believed wounded before the Marines could take the terrorist down during this latest French terrorist attack, reports the Daily Mail.
Journalist Martin Buxant reported, via Twitter, that the off-duty U.S. Marines noticed the suspected terrorist as soon as he boarded the train in Brussels, and kept him in their sights until the train crossed into France. At that point the suspected terrorist went into the train’s lavatory, apparently not for its intended use, however, but for nefarious purposes as the Marines heard through the door the sound of a weapon being prepared for use.
The Marines decided to act immediately and jumped the suspected terrorist as he exited the lavatory armed with what one man called a machine gun, and Business Insider called a rifle.
Despite the quick actions of the Marines, the suspect came out shooting and was reportedly able to pop off the injury causing shots before the Marines could put an end to his actions.
Despite injuries, it was soon realized things could’ve been much worse had the Marines not had the wherewithal to act, as the gunman was soon found to be armed with about 300 bullets in nine full magazines, and at least one knife.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve applauded the heroic and brave actions taken by the U.S. Marines, saying, “Thanks to them we have averted a drama. (The Americans were) particularly courageous and showed extreme bravery in extremely difficult circumstances.”
As for the suspected terrorist, he has been identified as a 26-year-old Moroccan national, and current resident of Spain, with links to several radical Islamic groups. French authorities and security services were already aware of the suspected terrorist and he’d already garnered the label of “potentially dangerous.”
The U.S. Marines reportedly “detained” the terrorist suspect until the train, which was carrying approximately 550 passengers, arrived in the town of Arras in Northern France. The suspected terrorist was then arrested and taken into custody.
No specific motive for the thwarted attack has been identified, and while one French official said “It is too early to speak of a terrorist link,” attempted terrorism is highly suspected, potential terrorism and deaths derailed by U.S. Marines.
[Image by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez, Getty Images]