“Dumbfounded”: French Suspect Allegedly Shocked That Anyone Thinks He Is A Terrorist After Violent Train Incident

Part-PAR-Par8253997-1-1-0Either Ayoub El-Khazzani is a terrorist or one of the unluckiest and most misunderstood men in the world. El-Khazzani is accused of wounding passengers on a French train in a foiled terrorist attack. He was in possession of an AK-47 assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. His former lawyer, however, says that he is “dumbfounded” by the allegations and that he simply found the AK-47 assault rifle “by chance.” If the lawyer’s account is accurate, his defense appears that he was planning to hold up the train and then flee. He is simply a misunderstood wannabe bank robber.

The problem is that El-Khazzani has been on a watch list for terrorism and is believed to have visited Syria and has associated with terrorism suspects.

Sophie David, however, insists that it is a huge misunderstanding and that he found the weapon and a telephone near the Brussels station in an area frequented by homeless people like himself. She added that “When I told him about the media attention he didn’t understand,” she added.

The 26-year-old was linked to Isis and radical Islam on the Schengen register, a watch-list of “persons of interest” among 27 European countries. He was subdued after a violent struggle with US Airman Spencer Stone and National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, their friend Anthony Sadler, and British businessman Chris Norman. They say that he tried to cock the weapon before he was tackled. An unidentified dual French-American citizen was also hospitalised with a bullet wound.

That is a tough fact pattern to turn into a colossal misunderstanding defense, particularly when you are trying to show that your client is not an AK-47 wielding terrorist but an AK-47 wielding bank robber. Jurors may not be inclined to sweat the difference.

39 thoughts on ““Dumbfounded”: French Suspect Allegedly Shocked That Anyone Thinks He Is A Terrorist After Violent Train Incident”

  1. Crazy people always go for those they believe are unarmed…and they use weapons from guns, knives, bombs, whatever. I refuse to enter any establishment with a “gun free zone” sign on their front door…why should I advertise I am a target? Given a choice I’d prefer to face a guy with a gun versus a guy with a 5 gallon fertilizer bomb….but I’d really rather not face either.

  2. Well, good luck on that defense- “I just found an AK-47” and brought it on a train.

    God bless those heroes who stood up and instinctively did something about it. It took a lot of bravery to charge an armed man in the close confines of the train. Many people would have simply frozen in terror or had no idea what to do.

    I recall after the Aurora movie theatre shooting, I heard an interview with a former soldier. He explained the difference between cover and camouflage. The movie theatre seats were merely camouflage. Bullets traveled right through them, so they offered no protection at all. They were a false promise of security.

    There was no cover on that train and no easy escape route. Waiting for the experts to handle it would have involved cleanup by the morgue.

    And I do think that the trend in terrorism will be towards more acts against civilians.

  3. Bam Bam … this morning the French guy’s name has been revealed, a professor at the U of Paris….and a 30 odd year American ex-pat. He was the first contact and got shot and seriously wounded. Reportedly he will survive. Spencer followed on immediately and made the right maneuver decision (grab the throat…close in tight and so forth) as did the guys behind him (disarm and pummel him), so it was a team work enterprise so to speak. My use of the term”shy” might have been misleading…more likely he just didn’t want publicity, period. All of them impressed me, as I have said earlier, although I am well trained in how to respond, one never really knows how they will do so until the situation arises…each time it is a new time. On that day all of them did more than I might have and I must honor and respect that. Not sure how I could handle myself in Europe, but in the USA I carry a sidearm and know what my first reaction would be and that always gives me pause, however brief. For 40 years now I’ve managed without touching my sidearm and I hope to continue that…I do wonder if I’d have gone for the idiot bare handed. I’m a bit old and less strong, to say it simply. Sounded like there wasn’t much choice and those guys all made the right decision to “Let’s Go.” I can only hope I’d have been so brave, but honestly I just don’t know, wasn’t there, etc.

  4. An interesting article.
    France Train Jihadi ‘Dumbfounded’ to Be Accused of Terrorism
    It was just your ordinary robbery attempt, you see, with a Kalashnikov.
    August 24, 2015
    Robert Spencer

    It is a recurring and increasingly ridiculous feature of jihad terror coverage: every time a Muslim screaming “Allahu akbar” plants a bomb or opens fire on a crowd of infidels, mainstream media coverage notes that “the attacker’s motive is not known.” But now Ayoub el-Khazzani, the Muslim gunman who was overpowered by three Americans, including two Marines, on a Paris-bound train last Friday, has gone the media one better by professing to be “dumbfounded” at being accused of terrorism. But the media, not unexpectedly, is happily going along, spreading the fog of disinformation that envelops the West’s response to the jihad threat even more thickly.

    El-Khazzani is “dumbfounded” that he is being accused of being a terrorist? Any sane person should be dumbfounded that he is dumbfounded. A bearded, caftan-wearing Muslim carries a Kalashnikov, an automatic pistol, ammunition and a box cutter onto a crowded train in a country where the Islamic State has repeatedly called for lone wolf jihad attacks, opened fire with the Kalashnikov, and he is “dumbfounded” that anyone thinks he is a terrorist? How stupid does he think Western authorities are?

    Very stupid, apparently. His lawyer, Sophie David, said that el-Khazzani was shocked “to the point of being amused” by the idea that anyone thought him a terrorist. “He does not understand why this story has taken on such importance. He says he just wanted to extort money from Thalys passengers, nothing else. He denies that there was any terrorist dimension to his plot. That almost made him laugh.”

    Yeah, that’s very funny, but according to this farfetched scenario, there’s a tragic edge as well. David claimed that el-Khazzani was “somebody who was very sick, somebody very weakened physically, as if he suffered from malnutrition, very, very thin and very haggard.” Lo and behold, in this weakened state, no doubt brought on by discrimination from The Man, el-Khazzani (the story goes) found the Kalashnikov and the pistol in a park in Brussels.

    Who leaves a Kalashnikov and an automatic pistol unattended in a park, where, wonder of wonders, they can be found by a young man driven by “Islamophobic” discrimination to just enough hunger and desperation to use them? Never mind – according to the story, the find gave el-Khazzani a plan. “A few days later,” said David, “he decided to get on a train that some other homeless people told him would be full of wealthy people traveling from Amsterdam to Paris and he hoped to feed himself by armed robbery.”

    A Kalashnikov, an automatic pistol and a box cutter – that certainly puts the “armed” in the “armed robbery,” and suggests that el-Khazzani expected that his relieving the wealthy passengers of their valuables would involve killing quite a few of them. How did he plan to get safely off the train with his loot after all the carnage? And if he was so impoverished, how did he afford the train ticket to Paris in the first place?

    Here’s the reality. The Express reported that “a Spanish anti-terrorist official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, revealed El Khazzani had lived in Spain until last year, moved to France then traveled to Syria where he is believed to have trained with ISIS before returning to France.”

    And a neighbor recalled: “He and his brother were very devout; they dressed like Afghans and all that, but I can’t believe this. He would sit with us while we smoked joints, you know? He didn’t smoke, but he didn’t mind that we did.” It also turns out that el-Khazzani and his brothers were “regulars” at a local mosque.

    So now we have a devout, mosque-attending Muslim who “dressed like an Afghan” and trained in the Islamic State boarding a train armed to the teeth, and opening fire on random non-Muslim passengers, and he is “dumbfounded” to be accused of terrorism?

    War is deceit, said Muhammad, and it looks as if Ayoub El Khazzani has taken those words to heart. What is amazing is that anyone would believe this nonsense, but of course the mainstream media is eating it up. More fool the French authorities and the media in the West if they believe him.

  5. . . .may refuse all types of acknowledgement, shunning any sort of honor. . .

  6. Aridog @ 1:01 pm

    I think that you may have missed the point of my comment at 12:48 pm. This isn’t about whether or not the French individual displayed courage in the face of danger. Not at all. I agree with you. No question about it. This isn’t about anyone’s nationality. Yes, the French gentleman has to continue to live there; however, it is my guess that he is not eschewing the limelight out of some sort of “shyness”–as you put it. He is most probably terrified of having his name and identity publicly disseminated, for all to know, in a climate where Islamic terrorism is, indisputably, on the on the rise. A shy, meek, unassuming and completely altruistic person may refuse any all types of acknowledgement, shunning any sort of honor. There are people like that. The reports that I have read claim that honors will be bestowed upon this person, who has requested to remain nameless, in a private ceremony. That is what is sad. A hero, by all accounts, whose courage and bravery probably saved many innocent lives, must shield his identity out of fear for his life. You state that you would do the same. I probably would, as well, if I lived in a climate like the one which prevails throughout much of Europe.

  7. If you are wanting to travel on trains in Europe then hop a freight train, preferably a box car with an open door. Done it many times.

  8. 2.2 Billion. Missing a few zeros. How many of those 2.2 Billion are extremist fundamentalist Muslims?

  9. bam bam … you’ve just cited the reason I found the efforts of Americans, Brits and Frenchmen to be heroic. Guts aren’t a commodity, they are a character trait….doesn’t matter where you are from. It’s what you do or don’t. The French guy has to live there and has good reason to be shy. I would do the same.

  10. Did anyone care to notice how the gentleman, hailing from France, wishes to remain anonymous, while the Americans are completely at ease having their identities published, along with film clips of them being publicly honored. Not that I blame the individual from France–no, not one bit. Just one more example of the extent to which French society, along with the rest of Europe, has plunged into a place where an undisputed hero, fighting against that proverbial lone wolf Muslim terrorist and saving lives during an attack on innocents, must conceal his identity out of fear of reprisal. Notice, how all articles make mention that he will be honored and thanked in a very private, hush-hush ceremony–he hasn’t scorned that opportunity or refused that; rather, he has simply passed on any occasion in which his name and identity will become public knowledge in France–the land of liberte, egalite et fraternite–where a whole bunch of those simple lone wolf adherents to the Religion of Peace would like to get in contact with him, for a chat. I have a feeling that they don’t wish to pin any medals on his chest at a party located in one of the mosques.

  11. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/american-professor-mark-moogalian-rushed-train-gunman-was-shot-n414786

    Mark Moogalian, the fourth American. Holds both American and French citizenship, was born in the U.S. Also rushed the shooter, was shot in the neck, whose life was saved by Spencer Stone, the American Airman that was injured himself.

    “My husband told me that he had seen someone strange because he had entered the toilets with his suitcase and it lasted a long time,” Moogalian’s wife Isabelle told Europe1 radio Monday. “A little while later the guy came out and that’s when he saw that the guy was carrying a gun.”

    Isabelle Moogalian, who was also aboard the train, said her husband spotted the gunman “being grabbed from behind by a different person” — thought to be a 29-year-old French banker who has chosen to stay anonymous.

    Mark Moogalian told his wife to “go” and then “rushed towards the gunman to remove … the Kalashnikov.””

  12. Actually, I do know why idiots in government use their government PC’s to dally at Ashley M…they think their wives won’t see it. They forget the security horde that is really watching them. Unbelievable. Almost.

  13. PS: Judi, my better half, understands this about me…she knows I don’t dally about. The revelations about Ashley Madison’s client list is also amusing, what kind of total idiot would use their government computer to search that site? I’ve said before that in my time with DOD/DA I had two computers at home, one a federal Laptop-PC and the other my personal PC and never did I use either for such stupidity. Once you make a search or comment it is available to anyone with a security interest in your business. Deal with it….y’all ain’t special. 🙂

  14. Just to be clear…I believe that any number of women I know are capable of the same actions to take down an idiot. I tend to be attracted to women who can do that and I am not one who thinks they cannot. Good Lord, the woman who cuts my hair is 50 now and still running triathlons (2nd over all men & women in her last one, first in age group)…tough as nails and beautiful to boot. I can’t help it if that attracts me 😀

  15. It must be some weird Karma, I agree with Issac and Annie in the same thread. Am I slipping or whot? 🙂

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