Expect to hear little or nothing about this from the media:
PARIS (AP) — Three people were wounded, including two seriously, when a gunman opened fire with an automatic weapon on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris Friday, officials said.
The suspect was arrested after the train stopped in Arras, 115 miles (185 kilometers north of Paris, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henri Brandet said on French television BFM. Passengers were evacuated and police have secured the area.
The French President’s office has released a statement that suggests two of the victims are in critical condition. You don’t suppose the shooter could, by an amazing and unexpected twist of fate, be a Muslim?
The suspect is a 26-year-old Moroccan, said Sliman Hamzi, an official with police union Alliance, said on French television i-Tele.
Christophe Piednoel, a spokesman for national railway operator SNCF, said the suspect was armed with an automatic rifle and a knife.
Uh-oh. The latest demographic information has the sunni Muslim population of Morocco at 99%. Perhaps the shooter was the country’s single Buddhist? But this sort of thing is only supposed to happen in gun-crazy, uncivilized, non-nuanced America, particularly in flyover country, which is populated by God and gun clingers that hate anyone unlike them. How is this possible?
And notice that the weapon used was an “automatic rifle,” not an evil “assault weapon.” Is a European “automatic rifle” somehow less evil than an American “assault weapon?” And Islam is the “religion of peace.” Several American presidents have told us this over and over again.
This is all sooooo confusing! I don’t know what kinds of guns I’m supposed to want to ban, whether I should blame Christians, or whether to want to ban knives or use them to cut my steak, which I think I’m supposed to give up in favor of tofu. Modern life is hard.
Uh-Oh! Now I’m positive you’re not going to be hearing much about this case. Once again, The Daily Mail does the reporting American reporters won’t do. But first, aren’t you wondering how someone armed with an automatic weapon only shot three people instead of a great many more?
A group of unarmed US Marines on board a high-speed train between Amsterdam and Paris foiled a terrorist attack after a gunman opened fire with an assault rifle, wounding three people.
The 26-year-old Moroccan national, who was known to security services, came out of the toilet brandishing the gun and opened fire. Fortunately, three US Marines were nearby and overpowered him before he could massacre passengers.
The suspected terrorist had at least six full magazines of ammunition holding almost 200 rounds.
So that’s what stopped the automatic rifle-weilding unspecified Moroccan and saved countless lives!
Well, at least I can think positive things about the Marines: no better friend, no worse enemy.
UPDATE, 08-22-15, 1630 CST:
Interestingly, it seems that the story has begun to attract some under-the-fold media attention. Of course, mainstream media sources–and this will be a great shock to readers–have no idea of the motivation of the shooter, who they have yet to identify as a Muslim. This even though some media outlets are reporting that the shooter was well known to European counter-terrorist agencies, and was, to at least some degree, subject to some degree of heightened interest, which apparently did not include active surveillance.
But who can blame the media. After all, the shooter is a 26 year old male from a country that is 99% Muslim, and was apparently on multiple European terrorist watch lists. He couldn’t possibly be a terrorist, could he? His motivation couldn’t possibly be Jihad, could it?
This from the Washington Post, is representative of media efforts:
Three Americans who foiled a suspected terrorist attack on a packed high-speed train running from Amsterdam to Paris were being lauded as heroes Saturday, as officials continued their investigation and called for tighter security.
Friday’s dramatic incident — in which a heavily armed man emerged from a train bathroom with an automatic rifle and started shooting — is being investigated by French counterterrorism authorities. Officials have not released the identity of the attacker, but have said he is a 26-year-old Moroccan who had been flagged by European counterterrorism authorities. [skip]
French President François Hollande plans to meet three Americans who foiled the attack. They are friends from middle school, and two of them were members of the armed services, according to their family members.
It now appears that the American heroes were not Marines, as was initially widely reported. They were an Airman, a member of the National Guard, and a civilian friend.
One of the Americans, Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, was stabbed and remained in the hospital Saturday, said the parents of his two friends. The Pentagon said his wounds were not life-threatening.
Stone, who is stationed at Lajes Air Base in the Azores, was traveling with Spc. Alek Skarlatos, an Oregon National Guardsman, and a civilian friend, according to the Pentagon. Anthony Sadler, a student at Sacramento State University, is their civilian companion, according to their families.
The account of our countrymen’s actions should make any American proud:
Chris Norman, a British businessman who helped tie up the shooter once he was subdued, told TV reporters in Arras that the incident unfolded quickly and began when the sound of a gunshot rang out and passengers saw a train employee run past. When Norman looked up, he saw a man carrying a machine gun, prompting him to duck down in his seat. At that point, he said, three Americans sitting near him also took notice of the gunman and immediately took action.
‘Alek said to Spencer, ‘Go get him,’ Norman said. ‘Spencer jumped up and tackled him and actually started getting the terrorist under control.’
Skarlatos told reporters that despite the danger, his friend sprung to his feet.
‘Spencer ran a good 10 meters to get to the guy and we didn’t know that his gun wasn’t working or anything like that. Spencer just ran anyway, and if anyone would’ve gotten shot it would’ve been Spencer, for sure.’ [skip]
Sadler said even though Stone was injured in the scuffle, he went to aid an injured passenger.
‘Without his help he would’ve died. That man was bleeding from his neck profusely,’ Sadler said.
Other media accounts, quoting the three Americans, noted that immediately upon tackling the shooter and taking him to the ground, they beat him unconscious, and then restrained him. But what about the shooter, who remains unidentified?
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Saturday that the suspect’s identity was still being established but that the man had identified himself as a 26-year-old of Moroccan origin. Cazeneuve said that the man’s name corresponded to someone whom Spanish authorities think has ties to radical Islamist movements. He said that the suspect lived in Spain until last year.
Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens told reporters in Brussels that though French authorities are still checking the suspect’s identity, a person under the name that he gave the authorities “is known by our services.”
He had been flagged by other European counterterrorism authorities as a potential jihadist, but ‘he was not known as someone dangerous,’ Geens said.
‘We get a lot of these names,’ he said, saying that it was important to balance monitoring with privacy concerns.
“Not known as someone dangerous,” eh? I wonder if the Belgians might be reassessing that classification? But of course, nothing is more important than “monitoring privacy concerns,” particularly if the privacy being protected is that of a terrorists we can’t identify as a terrorist despite his attempt at mass murder with an AK-47 type weapon. The WaPo story has additional details.
We can’t know precisely what the other passengers, apparently mostly Europeans, would have done if the three American had not been present, but their selfless actions give us hope that Mr. Obama has not been successful in entirely destroying American courage, integrity and self-reliance. This incident should also remind us of the sheer idiocy and danger of gun-free zones, which are yet another of Mr. Obama’s dreams for fundamentally transforming America.
UPDATE, 08-25-15, 2040 CST: John Hinderaker of Powerline reports on The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, one of America’s most progressive newspapers and their headline:
Authorities laud European train passengers for averting attack by heavily armed man.
What a classic! It begins with a bow to ‘authorities,’ unspecified but nevertheless deserving of reverence if you are a liberal. Next: ‘European train passengers’ get the credit. If you didn’t know better, you would understand that the heroes were Europeans. And the Strib wouldn’t want you to know that they were not just Americans, but American servicemen.
The ‘averted’ an ‘attack’ is true, but it doesn’t convey the reality of a couple of unarmed men not only putting their bodies in front of a Kalashnikov rifle, but disarming, capturing and beating into unconsciousness a ‘heavily armed man,’ probably saving dozens of lives.
What the heavily armed man was doing on a French train remains a mystery, as far as the Strib’s headline writers are concerned. No mention of the fact that he is a Muslim whose name was known to French anti-terror police, reportedly because of his known or suspected travel to Syria. No hint that this was an attempted terrorist attack, which may or may not have been directed or coordinated by ISIS and its European agents. He was just another of those “heavily armed men” who crop up from time to time in the news.
If there are strong contenders, I haven’t seen them. This must be the most clueless (if not deliberately misleading) headline yet about the terrorist attack on the Paris to Amsterdam train.
I’m with Hinderaker, but I suspect a lack of contenders isn’t due to an actual lack effort on the part of the media.