French Train Attacker: I Just Found The Rifle In a Park


Ayoub El-Khazzani is the man accused of bringing an AK-47 rifle onto a high speed train in Europe and injuring multiple people before being subdued by three Americans. Thankfully someone discovered him in the bathroom with his firearm before he could begin his massacre, but the fact that he never actually started his attack on the train is leading to an interesting situation: El-Khazzani now claims that he never intended to hurt anyone and never fired a single shot. As Robert is wont to say, pull the other one, it’s got bells on . . .

From The Independent:

Speaking to BFM-TV, David said: “He is dumbfounded that his act is being linked to terrorism,” adding that El-Khazzani describes himself as a homeless man.

“He says that by chance he found a suitcase with a weapon, with a telephone, hidden away,” she said.

Security at Brussels Midi station was stepped up after the incident (EPA) “He said he found it in the park which is just next to the Midi Station in Brussels, where he often sleeps with other homeless people.”

Explaining what El-Khazzani claims he planned to do with the rifle, David said: “He planned to hold up the train, then shoot out a window and jump out to escape.”

“When I told him about the media attention he didn’t understand,” she added.

The 26-year-old gunman is belived [sic] to have links to Isis and radical Islam, and was on the Schengen register, a watch-list of “persons of interest” that is shared by 27 European countries.

The probability that this man “found” an AK-47 in a suitcase in a park is about as likely as my finding a bale of marijuana in my parking lot. Then again, this is south Texas, so those things do tend to show up every once in a while. The issue with “finding” an AK lying around in the gun control paradise of Belgium is that (A) such guns are forbidden from private ownership and (B) all firearms in the country are registered. So either this is another illegally imported rifle from the Middle East that someone carelessly left lying around, or the guy is telling porkie pies.

Another inconsistency with the man’s story is the fact that there were confirmed injuries. One supposedly from a gunshot wound, and another reportedly from a boxcutter the attacker used on the people trying to disarm him and protect themselves and the other passengers. So unless those wounds spontaneously appeared the “I didn’t mean it I didn’t do it!” protestations seem a little empty.

There is one part of this otherwise noggin-scratching story I want to add my two cents about, though.

El-Khazzani denies firing a shot, but Skarlatos, who has served in Afghanistan, said then when he examined the rifle, he found that the gunman had tried to fire it, but failed because it had a bad primer.

The AK-47 line of rifles uses what’s called a “free floating” firing pin. The firing pin is not retained or spring loaded, it simply rests in the bolt and is free to move around. Typically what you’ll see with these kinds of designs is that when the bolt slams closed on a live round the momentum of the firing pin causes it to continue moving forward after the bolt has stopped and lightly taps the primer.

Anyone with an AR-15 can see this same effect if they chamber a round and then immediately eject it. It’s possible that what the soldier saw was simply a light primer strike from the bolt slamming shut, which would be consistent with the suspect’s story. Or, knowing how terrible surplus ammo can be, it’s also entirely possible that it was a bad round. That’s something for police investigators to determine.


  1. avatar David Stadler says:

    Bullshit you terrorist puke!

    1. avatar BDub says:

      He had 8 mags of 7.62×39, that were presumably “found” with the AK. Jesse James never robbed a train with so much ammo!

    2. avatar Harry_the_Horrible says:

      I am sure he DID just find the rifle and loaded magazines in a suitcase in the park almost exactly as he described.
      I am also positive that he was TOLD where he would find that suitcase, what was in it, and what he was to use it for.

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        There ya’ go! And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t “rob the train”…

        1. avatar Jordan says:

          Depends on what he was trying to steal. I suspect that he intended not to steal money but lives.

          Dead men tell no lies. Good on the guys who beat him into submission but they stopped short of finishing the job and now there will be a circus of a trial for this puke.

          The dudes lawyer is doing the only thing he/she can do as it is the only story that has even the possibility of being believable (not that I believe it for a second).

    3. avatar The Original Brad says:

      Bravo Davis S! Succinct and to the point, you Sir, win the Internetz tonight.

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    I’ve been wasting my time dredging lakes and ponds looking for AKs that were lost in horrible boating accidents, when all I had to do was check out my local park? Wow, is my face red.

    1. avatar Tom Chaney says:

      You beat me to it!! I’ll be at the park all weekend!!

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        If your park is in South Central LA, you just might find a gun or two.

        1. avatar Dustin says:

          Hopefully it’s a park where Feds shoot hoops. I mean play basketball…

        2. avatar Matt Richardson says:

          Try Echo Park fir random firearms, just avoid the naked dudes whistling at you from the bushes and you’ll be fine.

        3. avatar Big B says:

          That’s funny stuff right there, I don’t care who you are.

    2. avatar GunGeek says:

      So disappointing. I walk my gun dog in parks and he hasn’t found any guns. Though one time he did scare the hell out of a homeless couple doing the nasty in the bushes along the Guadalupe river trail.

    3. avatar Steve In MA (now RI) says:

      Ralph, forget the lakes. Hit the quarries. Just ignore the cinder blocks with the shoes attached.

    4. avatar Timmy! says:

      I found a pair of brass knuckles in my back yard as a kid. I cleaned them up and hung onto them for a while. I think my folks found them and got rid of them because I have no idea where they are today… the knuckles, not my folks.

      1. avatar DMB says:

        Glad you cleared up that last bit:-)

  3. avatar neiowa says:

    “illegally imported”

    I like that has the same ring as illegal “immigrant” or illegal “alien”. All neutered and without sufficient insulting accuracy.

    1. avatar ShaunL. says:

      Smuggled in with evil intent.

  4. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    It sure would be helpful if even one “news” outfit did investigative journalism and got some straight facts. I know the police (everywhere) do not encourage that, let alone provide the straight facts, but it can be done.

    I know… dream on.

    1. avatar Hank says:

      My thoughts exactly.

  5. avatar Chris. says:

    Just found a rifle laying around… and my first thought is “Hey Let’s PICK IT UP!”

    1. avatar John L. says:

      Hey, if the excuse “I just found it” can work in San Francisco…

      1. avatar tmm says:

        Right…I was wondering if it was wrapped in a shirt…

    2. avatar HotandEmpty says:

      “Just found a rifle laying around… and my first thought is “Hey Let’s PICK IT UP!”

      Is that sarcasm, because that is exactly what I would do if I found a gun on the ground. Granted, I would use my undershirt or handkerchief, and grab it by the barrel.

      I would also call the cops, unless it was a full auto that just got added to my next boating accident. Calling the cops is not required but it is a good way to CoverYourArse, just in case there is a body on the gun or it’s stolen.
      In thirty days the gun would be mine.

      1. avatar Chris. says:

        Well yes, it’s sort of sarcasm. Pick up strange firearm lying on ground. No, I do not think I would do that. I think what I would do is stand guard over the firearm after calling the police and let them deal with it. Cause while “yes”. I would love a free rifle – I also would not want to be implicated in any wrong doings.

        I also would not grab a car left on the street & say “finders keepers”. I’m generally honest when it comes to that. I one time found a wallet in the middle of the road – opened it, saw an ID – turned it into our local police for them to deal with. I did not look through it, because it’s none of my business. To me, an unattended firearm would be much the same Not mine – taking it would be theft; At the same time, it deserves better treatment than laying in the dirt. It is not my place to attempt to track down any lawful or unlawful owner of said weapon – I would therefore leave it in their hands.

        That said, I don’t believe for a second the scumsucking dirtbag from the train simply “found” the rifle or rather if he did just “find” the rifle it’s because it was left for him to find.

  6. avatar Dustin says:

    He probably did find it exactly as described; because he’s buddies planted it there for him to find… Along with a good story to sound not quite as bad as what he was REALLY going to do with it.

    A Krink would have been better in the close-quarters of a train, easier to smuggle, etc… These guys aren’t too bright…

    I’ve got 3, and they were all imported from Europe… I had a harder time buying them “legally” on the other side of the planet than this guy and is buddies had in supplying him with the wrong tool for the job…

  7. avatar General Zod says:

    Yeah, I’m sure somewhere in Belgium a little old lady is looking for the AK and stack of spare mags that were “right here just a second ago”…

    1. avatar ShaunL. says:

      ::little old lady:: I was at the park to hunt, I mean FEED the ducks and seem to have misplaced my firearm officer…

  8. avatar Hello World says:

    Cockney rhyming slang and a Monty Python reference? Heavy handed Britishness today, eh? What, no Blackadder or The Office reference?

    1. avatar 80 D says:

      I could sing some Free Love Freeway if you’d like…

      1. avatar Hello World says:

        Not a bad song actually

  9. avatar Westwood says:

    Good point about free floating pin, I was thinking the same thing when I heard about the bad primer strike.

  10. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    Geeze, the Mexican puke that killed Kate in San Francisco “found” his gun under a park bench also. I am sure the American who was shot in the neck by the Jihadi feels better about that explanation.

    I just got to start hanging out at the local park !

    1. avatar BDub says:

      Operation Fast & Furious….meet Operation Lost & Grassy.

      1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

        Oswald found his Carcano rifle at the Grassy Knoll.

  11. avatar SCW says:

    I see he is invoking the “I din do nuffin” defense.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Yes, but only because the SODDI defense wouldn’t bear close scrutiny.

  12. avatar gsnyder says:

    Gun-free area, restrictions galore, as tight as can be to keep good guys from having firearms. Yet a bad guy has two. How could this possibly happen?

  13. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Well, at least he isn’t homeless anymore.

  14. avatar bearclawed says:

    Is this why guns are illegal in Chicago parks? There must be a reason and this may be it.

  15. avatar DaveL says:

     all firearms in the country are registered.

    Correction: all firearms are required to be registered. The same is true in France, where by most estimates, the guns that aren’t registered outnumber the ones that are.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Good point.
      You could say the same about New York City.

  16. avatar James says:

    He should have claimed a background check loophole, then he and the media could blame the NRA and gun culture. It would be eaten up by the media.

    1. avatar Trevor says:

      You beat me to it!!!

  17. Sounds like another case of sudden jihad syndrome. Move along, nothing more to talk about.

    1. avatar Timmy! says:

      No, no! Workplace Violence! Get your terms right.

  18. avatar Paul53 says:

    The AK was all alone so he was just trying to give it a good home!

  19. avatar Sian says:

    AKs hit the primer awful hard. the difference between a bolt close tap and a primer hit are obvious and decisive.
    There were loaded handgun magazines as well, did he fire a round from a handgun? Anyway thank goodness for crappy old combloc ammo!

    Dude’s story will be picked to pieces over the next few days, for sure.

    1. avatar DJ says:

      When I first heard it malfed I figured he had tried to chamber a round with the safety engaged.

    2. avatar Icabod says:

      Wasn’t a French actor shot? It would seem the AK worked once. I suspect cleaning and weapon maintenance aren’t high on the list with the “Spray & Pray” crowd.

  20. Might it have been a corroded bolt/firing pin? I’ve avoided known corrosive ammo in my AK but understand if one does and does not flush the innards fairly soon after firing all manner of malfunctions will follow. Just wondering.

  21. avatar Sammy^ says:

    By the time it’s over the three Americans will be charged with assaulting this innocent lover of piece.

    1. avatar Dean Carpenter says:

      Fortunately he will probably spend a long, long time in a not very nice prison. Disturbing the European social tranquility is not tolerated.

      Unfortunately if he pulled that shit in America he would have most of the press, armies of lawyers and untold donations of money to make credible his obvious lies.

  22. avatar El Bearsidente says:

    And the mags were brought to him by pigeons.

    Also, the Schengen register is completely useless, because the Schengen treaty removed all border controls. So if someone is on the “watch list” it doesn’t really matter, because nobody an check it. Thank you EUSSR.

    AK47s usually come from Eastern Europe, made possible, once gain, by the Schengen treaty, because thanks to no border controls smuggling hardware is also a lot easier. They go for around €300 on the black market.

  23. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I was just trying to rob folks-with 8 30 round mags-Aloha snackbar for the win!

  24. avatar John E> says:

    I have no doubt the case was left in the park specifically for him. It was time for him to martyr himself and get his virgins. His handlers deposited the case in the park and told him where to find it. nuff said.

  25. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    His attorney pulled that schtick from an old cheech and chong album.
    “Your honor, my client merely found those drugs and was on his way to the police department to turn them in when he was wrongly accosted”!

  26. avatar DBM says:

    Sounds disturbing like the illegal mexican that murdered that woman in San Francisco.

  27. avatar Stinkeye says:

    This idiot had *two* guns and was attacking people with a box cutter? That’s like a guy holding a hammer in one hand and trying to drive a nail with a toothbrush in the other.

  28. avatar Ralph says:

    Inspired by this story, I went searching, and guess what? I just found an AK! I just found an AK! And eight magazines! Wow!

    It was in my closet. I have no idea how it got there.

    1. avatar SpeleoFool says:

      Lucky! I hope the AK fairy visits me soon. I’m gonna put a round of Wolf HP under my pillow….

  29. avatar Henry says:

    Gee, California, New Jersey and Massachusetts have laws requiring a universal background check before entering a park, JUST because of this sort of danger. Why the hell doesn’t Belgium?

  30. avatar Southern Cross says:

    And where did he get the money for the train ticket?

    Was the money or a train ticket included with the guns and loaded magazines in the suitcase?

    My BS meter is going into overload as wannabe jihadi knows what is going to happen to him in prison.

    1. avatar GunGeek says:

      +1. Excellent point. Used to live there and frequently took Thalys. The Comfort 1 / first class compartment is like getting into aircraft first class with a similar fare difference to Comfort 2 / coach. If robbery were the intent, then many more passengers in coach – and not just frugal students.

  31. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    The poor Islamic immigrant was hungry and was just looking for the Aloha Snackbar. Islam is the Religion Of Peace.

  32. avatar Sean in Tampa says:

    Jump out the window of a high speed train?

    1. avatar SpeleoFool says:

      Lol. There’s a whole standup routine of holes in this story.

      1. avatar Southern Cross says:

        And robbing train passengers? You would be lucky to get a thousand Euros from train passengers. More money and better getaway options from post offices, convenience stores, and gas stations. Banks are too heavily protected and have more comprehensive surveillance systems.

  33. avatar TJ says:

    Also, CNN reported that he had two guns, did he just “find” the pistol somewhere too?

    1. avatar DJ says:

      So there I was, walking to the train station with my pistol and box cutter – as usual – when I came across an AK 47 and 270 rounds of ammo. Naturally, I picked them up and…

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