The National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor's Office (PNAT) has called for a trial in Ayoub El Khazzani, the shooter of the thwarted attack aboard a Thalys Amsterdam-Paris train in the summer of 2015, and three other alleged accomplices, said Wednesday. AFP from concordant sources.
A dismissal for the man suspected of harboring the shooter before the attack
In its final indictment, the prosecutor's office requests the dismissal of Ayoub El Khazzani, 30 years, for "attempted assassination in connection with a terrorist enterprise", "terrorist criminal conspiracy" and "port and possession of category A weapons and B ", according to a judicial source. He also claims that three other suspects - Bilal Chatra, Redouane Sebbar and Mohamed Bakkali - are tried for "complicity in attempted murders in connection with a terrorist company and terrorist criminal conspiracy".
The prosecutor's office, however, demands a dismissal for a fourth man, Youssef Siraj, who was accused of having hosted El Khazzani in Brussels before the attack, said the judicial source and a source close to the case. It is now up to the investigating judges to make their decision on the holding of this trial. A few months before the attacks of November 13, 2015, August 21, 2015, Ayoub El Khazzani, mounted in Brussels station, opened fire inside the Thalys, armed with a Kalashnikov and nine full loaders.
>> READ ALSO - Shooting in a Thalys: Alek, Spencer, Anthony and Chris, the heroes of the train
This Moroccan citizen, then 26 years old, was acting on the instructions of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, coordinator of the Islamic State group (IS) who hit France and Belgium in 2015 and 2016. He injured two passengers before being controlled by passengers including US soldiers on vacation, who had thus avoided carnage. In this investigation, Bilal Chatra was indicted for playing the role of smuggler for El Khazzani and Abaaoud, on their way back from Syria in the middle of the flow of migrants. Redouane Sebbar would have participated in the preparations for the shooting on the train.
He claims he wanted to target only the US military
Mohamed Bakkali is considered as an essential logistician of the jihadist cell. In December 2016, El Khazzani recognized for the first time his involvement in the attack, breaking with eighteen months of silence. Abdelhamid Abaaoud "told me that the target was in the Thalys, where I had to attack Americans," he told the judge in one of his auditions consulted by AFP. "He explained to me that the best way to do my mission is to use explosives, but I said I preferred a Kalashnikov," he added. The Thalys shooter claims he wanted to target only US military, in retaliation for bombing in Syria, not civilians.
He claims to have given up his project of attack at the last second, too late to avoid a fight with the passengers who wanted to disarm. Last act of investigation, a re-enactment took place on September 18 near Paris to examine successively its version and that of the passengers.