August 24, 2015

"Skarlatos said El-Khazzani 'clearly had no firearms training whatsoever,' but if he 'even just got lucky and did the right thing...'"

"'... he would have been able to operate through all eight of those magazines and we would've all been in trouble, and probably wouldn't be here today, along with a lot of other people.' Armed with an arsenal of weapons and apparently determined, he presented a formidable challenge to the vacationing friends who snapped into action out of what Skarlatos said was 'gut instinct.' His and Stone's military training 'mostly kicked in after the assailant was already subdued,' he said, noting the medical care Stone provided and checking cars for weapons elsewhere. 'We just kind of acted. There wasn't much thinking going on,' he said, at least on my end." Stone replied with a chuckle, 'None at all.'"

From "US airman says train attacker 'ready to fight to the end'" (which also notes that the 3 Americans have received the French Legion of Honor (along with a "French citizen who first came across the gunman near a train bathroom and a British man who joined to help tie up the assailant").

El-Khezzani side of the story:
His lawyer said her client doesn't understand the suspicions, media attention or even that a person was wounded. For him, there were no gunshots fired, Sophie David said. "He is dumbfounded that his action is being characterized as terrorism," she said. He described himself as homeless and David said she had "no doubt" this was true, saying he was "very, very thin" as if suffering from malnutrition and "with a very wild look in his eyes."

He claims to have found the weapons in a park near the Brussels train station where he had been sleeping, stashed them for several days and then decided to hold up train passengers. "He thought of a holdup to be able to feed himself, to have money," she said on BFM-TV, then "shoot out a window and jump out to escape."

42 comments:

Tank said...

You forgot the Onion tag.

David Begley said...

The Religion of Peace doing what it does.

Paco Wové said...

Great defense. I guess a lawyer's gotta try, though.

David said...

The conclusion that he had no weapons training conflicts with the reports that he had trained and "fought" with ISIS.

That defense is so crazy it just might be true. (I don't really believe that but it really is remarkably nuts.)

rehajm said...

Did Hillary's team put that defense together?

Rae said...

So people just leave automatic weapons and loaded magazines lying around in France? Good to know.

MadisonMan said...

How can the lawyer make that defense with a straight face.

"He was going to shoot out the windows and jump out after robbing everyone" Right, from a TGV.

Drago said...

This attempted line of defense is so thoroughly moronic that it's a 100% certainty every leftist will line up immediately behind it.

The next headline I expect to read would be something along the lines of how these Americans interjected themselves into a "mostly peaceful" "request" for food money by a "mostly law-abiding" member of the lower classes.

Plus: Bush!

Kristian Holvoet said...

He described himself as homeless

If this were in a wretched place of bigotry, like San Francisco, I'd say the guy very well could have been homeless, and, thus, was probably mentally ill or drug addicted (the preponderance of homeless people are at least one of these).

That wouldn't surprise me much. I haven't read of any of the normal 'He was shouting "Alluhu Ackbar"' or whatever. Still, the story of finding the weapons is fishy.

amielalune said...

That defense is so stupid it sounds like it came from the Obama administration. Josh Earnest, let's hear it.

sinz52 said...

"He described himself as homeless"

Well, in a sense:

A Spanish anti-terrorist source told AFP news agency: "He lived for seven years in Spain, first in Madrid and then in Algeciras, from 2007 to March 2014, when he moved to France.

"Once he was in France, he then travelled to Syria, before returning to France," the Spanish source said.

During his time in Spain, he was detained at least once for drug-dealing, according to Spanish sources.

But French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that after living in Spain until 2014, he moved to Belgium in 2015.

The suspect was flagged up to France by the Spanish authorities in February 2014 as an Islamist extremist who may travel to France.

According to Spanish security sources, he travelled to France in 2014 and went to Syria. French security sources said he went to Berlin airport for a flight to Istanbul on May 10 this year. Turkey is a preferred destination for would-be jihadists heading for Syria.

Brando said...

I guess claiming it was an attempted holdup rather than an attempted mass murder is necessary to try and get a lesser charge. But a weapon with large clips like that seems more a mass murder weapon than a holdup weapon.

Scott said...

"Skarlatos said El-Khazzani 'clearly had no firearms training whatsoever,'

Firearms are about as difficult to load and discharge as a desk stapler.

CWJ said...

"He thought of a holdup to be able to feed himself..."

A regular Jean Valjean.

Big Mike said...

The primer on the cartridge chambered in the AK-47 was dimpled; he pulled the trigger but the round didn't fire. Bad primer? Crappy ammo? I don't know whether weak primer strikes are rare with AKs (can somebody enlighten me?) but jams do happen. El-Khazzani seems to have panicked. He certainly tried to kill people.

Larry J said...

It was interesting to see how, when the story was first reported, the three American young men were Marines. After all, Marines have a well-earned reputation for being rough, tough, and always ready for action. The next day, we learned that the first man to make contact with the gunman was an E-3 (A1C) in the Air Force (AFSPC unknown as of now) followed closely by an E-4 in the Oregon Army National Guard. The other young man is a civilian college student from California. Not exactly Marines but they did the job. To many, the Air Force is considered a great alternative to military service (their PJs are widely respected, though) and the national guard seldom gets much respect.

I enjoyed watching a short video on Saturday of an interview of the college student's parents. His father was quite surprised that his son is now a national hero in France (here, too, in my eyes). Perhaps he was thinking of all the stupid things boys tend to do when growing up. I sometimes wonder how any boy makes it past puberty alive. He can rest assured that he did a good job raising his son to become an outstanding young man.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Makes that NYTimes top comment even dumber in context, doesn't it? "See, we should make sure no law-abiding citizens can arm themselves, since the threat we'll always face is from relatively-untrained gunmen who can be taken down without using firearms." Idiotic.

Michael McClain said...

Oh, yeah. He's just a quiet, misunderstood boy who was just turning his life around. He was going to finish his GED and enter Junior College this fall. He went to Syria to obtain material for his senior thesis.

Heard it all before from thug bastards here in the States.

Freeman Hunt said...

Who of us can say he hasn't also tripped over an AK in the park? They drop from the trees at the beginning of fall.

Greg Hlatky said...

The US military interferes once again in the affairs of peaceful foreign countries.

The Drill SGT said...

Sophie David

I hope she's not a Jewish Leftist, because with that argument it's going to destroy my preconceived notion that Jewish lawyers are smart...

damikesc said...

I guess claiming it was an attempted holdup rather than an attempted mass murder is necessary to try and get a lesser charge. But a weapon with large clips like that seems more a mass murder weapon than a holdup weapon.

Maybe train windows are unusually durable.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

You'd think that a machine gun would be a total game changer, but Odysseus and two other dudes were able to off, like, a hundred suitors with just bow and arrow.

LYNNDH said...

I read that the first person to confront the shooter was also an American, living in France. He was trying to protect his wife. He is the one that was shot. That slowed the shooter down a bit. The Brit that also helped should also get some credit. All 5 were courageous. Kind of like the passengers on the 9/11 PA flight.

Coupe said...

Hopefully they will find out where he got the weapons and ammo, and grab those bastards as well.

My feeling is, he got them in Europe, and not in Syria. It would be hard to smuggle weapons on an airline, which is the mode they say he used.

FleetUSA said...

Over clever lawyer trying to recast the facts for gullible muslims.

Dopey said...

Surprised that the lawyer didn't use with "Hands up, don't beat me up."

Expat(ish) said...

@Big Mike 0- my experience (limited) with AK style rifles is that they are 10X overengineered for any particular task, including the firing pin. I also found them much easier to clear than the AR design.

I will say that some jams required me to drop the magazine, pull back the charging handle, and smack the stock across the firing line to drop drop cross-fed round out. It's not a close quarters move, probably.

-XC

Coupe said...

Now that the men are French Knights, how will they live that down when they get back to Hooterville.

cubanbob said...

It would have been a really happy ending if the terrorist had been killed.

Coupe said...

cubanbob said...It would have been a really happy ending if the terrorist had been killed.

It's always a good feeling to think that, but the reality is that it is very important to trace his movements and gather actionable intelligence.

He's a pawn, and you can't really win until you tip over the King.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Big Mike said...
The primer on the cartridge chambered in the AK-47 was dimpled; he pulled the trigger but the round didn't fire. Bad primer? Crappy ammo? I don't know whether weak primer strikes are rare with AKs (can somebody enlighten me?) but jams do happen.

I'm betting the rifle was fresh out of the crate and packed with cosmoline. That's one of the few things that could cause a light strike.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Rae said... 8/24/15, 7:44 AM

So people just leave automatic weapons and loaded magazines lying around in France? Good to know.

They leave them around San Francisco, too, you know, suppposedly.

This must be the new standard criminal defensed against weapons possession.

Although it probably won't work too well if you say you wanted to commit crimes. He should have said he was planning too hand them in to the police.

Sammy Finkelman said...

That you wanted to rob people, but not kill them, and had no terrorist or hate-filled morives, seems to be the new defense against charges of terrorism.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Coupe said...

Hopefully they will find out where he got the weapons and ammo, and grab those bastards as well.

Probably from Chechens in Belguim who were secretly backed by the Russian government, and who also engage in more ordinary crimes.

The same people who supplied the Charlie Hebdo attackers in Paris. There were two groups of terrorists there.

Two - the ones who attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices - seemed to think they were working for al Qaeda in Yemen ( which doesn't even call itself that! ) and the other, third person, who attacked the kosher deli/grocery seemed to think he was working for ISIS.

They were probably both recruited under a false flag by the Russian FSB.

Valdimir Putin wants there to be appear to be a big danger of terrorism in Europe, so they'll want him as an ally, and won;t go too hard on him.

This idea should not sound too surpising to you,

Putin used Chechens to bomb the Moscow subway in 1999 and that was a big factor in him being chosen by Boris Yeltsin to become ruler of Russia.

Putin killed Alexander Litvinenko with polonium (which can only have come from Russian government stockpiles) in London in 2006 to stop the stiory from spreasing.

For more:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/nov/22/finally-we-know-about-moscow-bombings/



Sammy Finkelman said...

Since Putin's goal, under my theory, would have been for there to be an impression of a terrorist danger in Europe, and not so much to commit acts of terrorism, it should not be too surprising that the terrorist hardly knew anything about his weapons.

It will come out that he didn't learn anything like this in Syria.

And they would not have trained him because the longer the time they spend with him, the greater the chance he could back out. and anyway, success in terrorism is not the goal.

Of course, he would have had no idea he was really working for Russia.

Even if the intelligence points in this direction, I don't think they are going to want to face it.

SteveR said...

I've got a bridge for sale, great location, anyone interested, please contact me.

holdfast said...

Anyone can pull a trigger, and it doesn't take much training to change a mag, but it's when things go wrong that training (or lack thereof) shows itself.

I spent so many hours doing, and then teaching "Immediate Action" drills for stoppages on the C-7 rifle (M-16A1.5) that I can still repeat them without concious thought, and I've been out for 15 years. We drill like that so that the soldier will be able to perform the drill even though his world is exploding, he just saw his buddy's head get blown off and there's a crazed Afghan charging at him.

Birches said...

I keep thinking about these guys and the people who sat on the Subway in DC and let that poor guy get killed....

RonF said...

Brando, got a nit to pick with you.

"But a weapon with large clips like that ...."

Clips are temporary cartridge holders used in convenience for reloading. A magazine is the actual mechanism that cartridges are loaded into and that is then itself inserted into a rifle in order to fire them. What you are referring to is a magazine, not a clip. Also, a magazine that holds 30 rounds/cartridges for an AK-47 is a standard-capacity one, not a large capacity one. Just so you know.

OGWiseman said...

Ah yes, the classic "I was just trying to commit a train robbery" defense. Truly a deft legal maneuver.

Rusty said...

Coupe said...
Now that the men are French Knights, how will they live that down when they get back to Hooterville.


Were you born a douche, or did you have to work up to it?