American Who Helped Stop France Terror Attack Returns to US

26 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A Hero Of French Train Attack Will Receive U.S. Army Medal.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — One of the three Americans who helped stop a terror attack on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris returned home to California on Tuesday. The 23-year-old who helped take down a gunman with four others on a European train bound for Paris just a few days earlier, got the star treatment at the Straight Outta Compton Paris premiere on Monday. Video from Sacramento television station KCRA showed a relaxed Anthony Sadler, 23, walking off a commercial plane at Sacramento International Airport accompanied by his parents. The decision to open an investigation was based on the actions by 26-year-old Moroccan suspect Ayoub El-Khazzani on the train Friday night and information from other European authorities about his travels and apparent links to radical Islam, prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The Sacramento State University student was dressed in black shorts and a gray sweatshirt and was carrying a black backpack as the family walked into the tarmac with the rest of the passengers. When the group recognized one another, they snapped a picture on Instagram, and after chatting with the boys, the actors invited them to the premiere the following night, TMZ reports. “I feel like I’m in a dream. Molins said El-Khazzani notably watched the online video on his phone minutes before he walked through the Amsterdam-to-Paris train carrying an assault rifle and other weapons. The three friends who tacked a suspected gunman and saved the life of a wounded victim were awarded France’s highest civilian award, the Legion of Honor by French president Francois Hollande. Sacramento State president Robert Nelsen said the campus is overwhelmed learning Sadler is set to return to school this year, a kinesiology senior but also a hometown hero.

Announcing Skarlatos’ award Tuesday, senior Army officials called the Soldiers Medal the service’s “highest award for acts of heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy.” Another service member who acted alongside Skarlatos, Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, will be awarded the Airman’s Medal for his actions, the Air Force announced Monday. “Spec. Skarlatos’ actions that day epitomize what we mean by a soldier of character — one who lives by a personal code where dedication to duty and taking care of others is sacred,” Secretary of the Army John McHugh said. “His actions, and those of his fellow serviceman and passengers, exemplify the highest standards of selfless service. Now that the formal investigation is opened, investigating magistrates are expected to file numerous preliminary charges against El-Khazzani, including multiple attempted murders in connection with terrorism, possession of weapons in connection with terrorism, and participation in a terrorist conspiracy.

El-Khazzani was found to have an AKM assault rifle with 270 rounds of ammunition, a 9mm handgun, a box-cutter and a bottle of gasoline, the prosecutor said. The suspect had travelled through several European countries and had been repeatedly incarcerated in Spain and flagged for surveillance in France, Molins said. In questioning, El-Khazzani said he had no terrorism plans and had found a bag of weapons the night before in a Brussels park and planned to use them to rob passengers, according to Molins. In Brussels, investigators searched two buildings where the gunman may have stayed in the Molenbeek-Saint-Jean neighborhood, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement Tuesday.

Landstuhl Regional Medical Center spokesman Chuck Roberts said Tuesday that Stone arrived at the facility in southern Germany the day before and seemed in good spirits, smiling and shaking hands with leaders of the U.S. military hospital. He says Stone is being treated for a laceration to his thumb, for which a full recovery is expected with ongoing therapy, as well as a “non-critical” eye injury and more minor wounds.

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