The Moroccan gunman in last week’s attack in a train in France was flabbergasted upon learning he has been pigeonholed as an “Islamist militant” and argued his intention was only to rob passengers inside the high-speed train because he was hungry, his lawyer Sophie David told media on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Morrocan—malnourished and appearing to be ill— was already detained in Paris and was identified by Spanish and French sources as Ayoub el Khazzani, “a suspected Islamist militant.”
‘Haggard and thin’
“I [saw] somebody who was very sick, somebody very weakened physically, as if the suffered from malnutrition; very, very thin and very haggard,” said David as quoted by Reuters.
“He is dumbfounded by the terrorist motives attributed to his action,” David added, emphasizing that her client was barefooted and was wearing a boxer shorts and hospital shirt when he was taken in for interrogation by the police in Arras, northern France.
According to the lawyer, her client saw the Kalashnikov from a park close to the Gare du Midi rail station in Brussels, where he usually sleeps.
“A few days later, he decided to get on a train that some other homeless people told him would be full of wealthy people travelling from Amsterdam to Paris and he hope to feed himself by armed robbery,” David continued, believing there were no shots fired from his gun before it got jammed. But according to Bernard Cazeneuve, interior minister of France, “several shots” were fired before the passengers subdued the Moroccan.
David also disclosed that the Moroccan suffered wounds on his face that are yet to be treated.