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FOILED TRAIN ATTACK

TERRORISM

‘My first time in Europe and I stopped a terrorist’

A gunman tackled by young Americans on a train between Amsterdam and Paris pleaded with them to hand back his Kalashnikov after they overpowered him, one of the group said.

'My first time in Europe and I stopped a terrorist'
Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos (US military), and British national Chris Norman, with their medals for bravery in the town of Arras, northern France, on Friday. Photo: AFP

“Everything happened very fast,” Anthony Sadler, a student travelling with friends Alex Skarlatos and Spencer Stone, both members of the US military, told the media.

“I didn't realise what was happening until I saw a guard run past. I looked back and saw a guy enter with a Kalashnikov. My friends and I got down and then I said 'Let's get him',” said Skarlatos, a 22-year-old member of the National Guard in Oregon, who has recently returned from service in Afghanistan.

“We didn't know if the gun wasn't working or anything like that. Spencer just ran anyway and if anyone had gotten shot, it would have been Spencer and we're just very lucky that nobody got killed,” he added.

Stone tackled the gunman but was cut with a knife.

“At that point I showed up and grabbed the gun from him and basically started beating him in the head until he fell unconscious,” said Skarlatos.

Sadler added that the man — later identified as a 26-year-old of Moroccan origin — “didn't stand a chance.”

“As soon as we saw him, we all ran back there. It all happened really fast,” said Sadler.

“He didn't say anything. He was just telling us to give back his gun. 'Give me back my gun! Give me back my gun!' But we just carried on beating him up and immobilized him and that was it.”

Mobile phone footage from inside the train and shown on several TV stations shows the suspect, a skinny man wearing white trousers and no shirt, flattened on the floor of the train with his hands and feet tied behind his back.

A Kalashnikov is seen leaning against a seat and blood is visible on a window.

Sadler said he had spoken to Stone, recovering from the knife wound in hospital, adding that he was “doing well”.

“He can't believe that all this happened,” said Sadler. “I'm just a college student. I came to see my friends for my first trip to Europe and we stop a terrorist. It's kind of crazy.

A source close to the investigation said two people were being treated at a hospital in Lille.

As well as Stone, who received cuts to his neck and hand, another American passenger was shot in the shoulder. No information was given on their condition.

President Barack Obama singled out the Americans, saying “it is clear that their heroic actions may hve prevented a far worse tragedy.”

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the group showed “great bravery.”

“Without their cool-headed actions we could have been faced with a terrible incident,” he said.

CRIME

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim’s x-ray

A Paris court on Wednesday convicted a surgeon for trying to sell an X-Ray image of a wounded arm of a woman who survived the 2015 terror attacks in the French capital.

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim's x-ray

Found guilty of violating medical secrecy, renowned orthopaedic surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean must pay the victim €5,000 or face two months in jail, judges ordered.

Masmejean, who works at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in western Paris, posted the image of a young woman’s forearm penetrated by a Kalashnikov bullet on marketplace Opensea in late 2021.

The site allows its roughly 20 million users to trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – certificates of ownership of an artwork that are stored on a “blockchain” similar to the technology used to secure cryptocurrencies.

In the file’s description, the surgeon wrote that the young woman he had operated on had “lost her boyfriend in the attack” on the Bataclan concert hall, the focus of the November 2015 gun and bomb assault in which jihadists killed 130 people.

The X-Ray image never sold for the asking price of $2,776, and was removed from Opensea after being revealed by investigative website Mediapart in January.

Masmejean claimed at a September court hearing that he had been carrying out an “experiment” by putting a “striking and historic medical image” online – while acknowledging that it had been “idiocy, a mistake, a blunder”.

The court did not find him guilty of two further charges of abuse of personal data and illegally revealing harmful personal information.

Nor was he barred from practicing as prosecutors had urged, with the lead judge saying it would be “disproportionate and inappropriate” to inflict such a “social death” on the doctor.

The victim’s lawyer Elodie Abraham complained of a “politically correct” judgement.

“It doesn’t bother anyone that there’s been such a flagrant breach of medical secrecy. It’s not a good message for doctors,” Abraham said.

Neither Masmejean, who has been suspended from his hospital job, nor the victim were present for Wednesday’s ruling.

The surgeon may yet face professional consequences after appearing before the French medical association in September, his lawyer Ivan Terel said.

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