Cyprus Mail

France train gunman had been under surveillance – source

French judicial police stand on the platform next to the Thalys high-speed train

By Chine Labbé and Morade Azzouz

A gunman who was overpowered by passengers during a shooting incident on a train had been under French police surveillance after foreign security services identified him as dangerous, a source with knowledge of the case and local media said.

The 26-year-old gunman wounded three people on Friday on board the high-speed train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris before being overwhelmed by passengers who included an American soldier.

French newspaper La Voix du Nord said on Saturday Spanish authorities had pointed out the man to French police. It was not immediately clear whether he was still under surveillance at the time of Friday’s attack.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the gunman was being transferred on Saturday to the Paris region from Arras in northern France where the incident took place and where he was arrested.

The attacker had carried two bags containing automatic weapons and knives onto the train when he boarded it in Brussels, the source said.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said late on Friday that the French anti-terrorism prosecutor was investigating the incident and that the gunman’s motives were not known. The gunman has told police he is of Moroccan origin.

French authorities have been on high security alert since January when 17 people were killed in shootings by Islamist militants in and around Paris.

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