Paris train gunman ‘lived in Spain for seven years’

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Ale Sasso – Wikimedia Commons

THE man believed to be the gunman who opened fire on a high-speed train from Paris to Amsterdam on Friday (August 21) spent seven years living in Spain.

The 25-year-old Moroccan national, Ayoub El-Khazzani, lived in Spain from 2007 to 2014, first in Madrid, then in Algeciras, a port city on the Bay of Gibraltar, says Spanish daily newspaper El Pais.

The report adds that when El-Khazzani moved to France in March 2014, Spanish intelligence passed their files on him on to French authorities.

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El Kahzzani lived in Spain legally, and was arrested three times for drug offences, twice in Madrid and once in Ceuta, a Spanish autonomous city in North Africa, according to an El Pais’ source.

France has honoured the passengers who wrestled the shooter to the ground after he reportedly emerged from a toilet on the train armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, a hand gun and a knife – including the 62-year-old British man Chris Norman, who helped restrain the man with a neck tie.

The IT consultant has been awarded the Légion d’honneur by President Francios Hollande, alongside two off-duty American soldiers, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos, and their friend, student Anthony Sadler.

The French president said the passengers “gave us a lesson in courage, in will, and therefore in hope.” Following the ceremony, Norman said: “I just did what I had to do.”

A French-American teacher who is currently in hospital being treated for a bullet wound he received as the passengers subdued the attacker, and an off-duty French train driver who was also involved in the heroic effort, will both receive honours at a later date.

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