An attack that injured three people on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris is believed to be an Islamist terrorist attack, a senior European counterterrorism official told CNN.
Two Americans reportedly surprised the gunman and are credited with preventing a massacre. They’re believed to be Marines. One of them had injuries he was expected to recover from.
The gunman, a Moroccan national, was on the radar screen of European counterterrorism agencies for his radical jihadist views, the official said.
A second security source told CNN the gunman was known by French intelligence. The official said it appeared the gunman was sympathetic to ISIS, but a full determination on his specific loyalties had yet to be reached.
A man armed with an automatic firearm and a bladed weapon injured three people Friday on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Friday.
The suspect was arrested, but his identity and motive are not known yet, Cazeneuve said during a press conference at the train station in Arras, a city about 115 miles (185 kilometers) north of Paris where the train was rerouted.
Calling the attack “an attack of barbaric violence,” Cazeneuve said the anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office in Paris will investigate to determine whether this was an act of terrorism.
Cazeneuve said two Americans helped “neutralize” the attacker. He expressed “gratitude and admiration” for their help.
Two people were hospitalized with serious injuries but their lives are not in danger, said Anthony Blondeau, spokesman for the city of Arras.
One of them was an American, Cazeneuve said. It’s not known whether he or she helped subdue the suspect.
The third person injured was French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, who has a light hand injury, Blondeau said.
Christophe Piednoel, spokesman from the French railway company SNCF, said the suspect carried an automatic weapon and a bladed weapon.