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France train attack gunman Ayoub El-Khazzani charged with terrorism

Published 26/08/2015

Three people were injured in the attack (@FreedomFilmLLC)
Three people were injured in the attack (@FreedomFilmLLC)

The Moroccan suspect in a foiled attack on a high-speed train in France is facing terrorism charges over what authorities say was a plan to unleash carnage among hundreds of passengers.

Ayoub El-Khazzani was charged overnight, the Paris prosecutor's office confirmed on Wednesday.

El-Khazzani was tackled and tied up by at least five passengers, including three Americans and a Briton.

The 26-year-old has denied terrorism plans and said he stumbled upon a bag of weapons and decided to rob passengers.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins has said El-Khazzani watched a jihadi video on his mobile phone moments before the attack and that - although he claimed to be homeless - he used a first-class ticket.

Among the terrorism charges he faces are multiple counts of attempted murder, possession of weapons and conspiracy.

El-Khazzani's older brother, Imran, told French radio network RMC: "He could have gone crazy. His life was without a doubt difficult. He didn't have much money. It could have gone from bad to worse.

"I swear to you before God that my brother has nothing to do with a terrorist. We are Muslims. We respect people."

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