by China Labbé
PARIS (Reuters) – The identity of the alleged gunman Thalys is not established with certainty, but it could be a Moroccan of 26 years reported in February 2014 to France by the Spanish authorities for radical Islam, said Saturday Bernard Cazeneuve.
His description was “promptly” leads the Directorate General of Internal Security (RPS) to be issued against him a surveillance card “S”, in order to identify it in case of passage across the territory, said the French interior minister.
“It should remain cautious as to its identity is not yet established with certainty at the time we speak, “said Bernard Cazeneuve during a press briefing.
” If he declares the identity was confirmed, however, it would correspond to that of an individual of Moroccan nationality aged 26, reported by the Spanish authorities to the French intelligence services in February 2014 because of his membership in the radical Islamist movement, “he said.
is otherwise proved, if the profile is confirmed, it resided in 2014 in Spain and 2015 in Belgium, the minister said. “The investigation (…) shall establish precisely the traceability of the course and movement of this terrorist,” he said.
The individual had initially declined another identity to the investigators, was “unknown service”, hence the caution of Bernard Cazeneuve, did we told Reuters source familiar with the matter.
The man was transferred soon in the morning in Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine), headquarters of the Anti-Terrorism Sub-Directorate of the Judicial Police and ISB, where his detention continues. It can last up to 96 hours.
The terrorism prosecutor was responsible for the investigation French side.
The Belgian federal prosecutor has also informed Saturday that he had also opened an investigation, the suspect being mounted on the train from Amsterdam to Paris in Brussels train station.
SAFETY IN TRANSPORT
The suspect, who wounded two people when train was at the height of Oignies, one shot and the other with a cutter, was subdued by several passengers.
According to preliminary evidence, a French traveler, who found himself facing him in going to the toilet, first tried to stop him before he fires several shots, said Bernard Cazeneuve.
Then two passengers have US citizen locked ground and spread his arms.
It is in this confrontation that the two Americans was injured with blows of cutter. A shot has also reached a Franco-American passenger installed in his seat, said the Interior Minister. Both men are in hospital in Lille and Arras, where the train was stopped and arrested the suspect. Their prognosis is not engaged.
Francois Hollande met Saturday morning by phone with these passengers whose “courage” and “cool” was welcomed by the executive and allowed “to avoid a tragedy”, said the presidency in a statement.
He will receive the “in coming days” at the Elysee to their “witness the gratitude of France.”
“It could have been carnage,” testified Briton Chris Norman, who also helped to neutralize the suspect.
The man was indeed a rifle Kalashnikov-type assault shoulder and had filled nine chargers, an automatic pistol and a knife, as stated Bernard Cazeneuve.
The latter sent in the night a telegram to all the prefects of France for their “recall the principles of vigilance and surveillance” necessary for the first train.
“The vigilance instructions also apply to all transport, airports, subway stations and RER, tramways, as part of vigipirate posture in force, “he he said, recalling that the threat was” very high “.
Bernard Cazeneuve assured to be” in touch Standing “with counterparts in neighboring countries with rail links with France” to strengthen the measures already taken on security in these trains. “
Since jihadist attacks that killed 17 people in January an enhanced security system was set up in France and several attacks have been foiled.
(Edited by Jean-Philippe Lefief)