Ayoub El Khazzani, the 25-year-old gunman from Morocco who opened fire on a train in France last week, intended to murder everyone on the train as part of a Muslim terrorist attack before being stopped by citizens, revealed French Prosecutor Francois Molins on Tuesday.
El Khazzani, who lived in Spain where he was flagged as a potential jihadist by intelligence services that alerted France about him before the attack, was armed for a massacre, Molins said.
He was toting an AKM assault rifle replete with 270 rounds of ammo, a Luger M80 automatic pistol packed with a full clip, a box-cutter, and a container the size of a standard water bottle full of gasoline, reports CNN.
"According to all of the witness accounts we've gathered…(El Khazzani) wouldn't have hesitated to use all the arms in his possession – assault rifle, pistol and box-cutter – if it wasn't for the remarkable intervention of the passengers," Molins said.
El Khazzani has been charged with attempted murder, attempted mass murder, and membership in a terrorist organization according to Mollins, who did not list which terrorist organization he is charged with being associated with.
Molins revealed that before entering a train toilet compartment from which he launched the attack last Friday, El Khazzani sat on the train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris listening to "an individual calling his followers to combat and urging them to take up arms in the name of the Prophet" in a YouTube video on his cell phone.
The video calling for Islamic terrorism is evidence of the attacker's terrorist intent, noted the prosecutor.
El Khazzani was recently in Turkey's southeastern province of Hatay near the Syrian border where many jihadists have entered the warring country, the investigation has revealed. He returned via Istanbul to Albania in a side trip possibly meant to cover up where he'd been.
In the attack itself, the attacker first came across a French American after he exited the toilet between the cars, who tried to stop him before managing to escape. He then entered one of the train cars, where two American soldiers on vacation tackled him after his gun jammed, and they were then helped by another American and a British man.
The four who tackled him in the car were awarded the French Legion of Honor on Monday by French President Francois Hollande, and the fifth who first came across the gunman is also to receive the medal after his condition stabilizes as he recovers from a gunshot wound.
Chris Norman, the British citizen who helped take down El Khazzani, told CNN on Tuesday that "my position was, I'm not going to be the guy who dies sitting down. If you're going to die, try to do something about it."