August 21, 2015
A 26 year old Moroccan boarded a train in Brussels headed to Paris, and when the train cross the French border he revealed an AK-47 and started shooting.
Fortunately for everyone except him, two US Marines on vacation heard him loading his gun in the bathroom and stopped him almost immediately. 3 wounded, but no one has died yet.
Sadly, one of the Marines was hit in the neck, and is now in critical condition. (I deeply hope he isn't paralyzed. I deeply hope he doesn't die.)
And the French authorities say?
The motives behind the attack were not immediately known, although a spokesman for the interior minister said: 'It is too early to speak of a terrorist link'.
It seems like this always happens. What should be obvious to even the most casual and blithe of observers is invisible to "authorities" and "spokesmen" whose primary concern is, always, preventing anti-Muslim backlash.
In the case of the French, there may also be another reason. It isn't commonly spoken of, but in the so-called "Banlieues" Muslim extremists have been stockpiling weapons for years. By now they probably have a good sized arsenal, and provoking them might be like poking a stick into a hornet's nest.
IMHO this is also the reason why the French ignore the way that "youths" go out and torch hundreds of cars on occasion.
Guys, you can't put off the reckoning forever. You are in a war and your enemy is attacking you. Large parts of your nation are already occupied by enemy forces, and are now "No Go" places for your law enforcement. This is like a tumor: the longer you wait, the bigger and more dangerous it gets.
Your primary responsibility is to keep your citizens safe -- and you can't depend on the US Marines to protect you. They won't always be there.
They don't work for you.
UPDATE: Now they've confirmed that he was an Islamist militant. Big surprise, that.
UPDATE: The other Marine was stabbed in the fight, but is not in critical condition.
Even though they were both wounded, they still subdued the guy. I assume it was the one who was stabbed who did it.
The third wounded man was a French actor, and he seems to be getting the headlines.
UPDATE: We're getting a lot of "fog of war" in these early news reports. Some reports are saying the second Marine wasn't hurt. Some reports are saying there were three Marines rather than two. I think maybe we'll start getting more accurate reports by tomorrow.
UPDATE: And it's getting more foggy by the minute. Now they're saying that the American serviceman who got wounded was Air National Guard.
UPDATE: The fog is beginning to clear. Powerline has a rewrite. There were three Americans who stopped the gunman. One was Air Force, one was Air National Guard, and the third was a civilian friend of theirs.
UPDATE: More clearing fog.
UPDATE It's been long enough so that a lot of the hyperbole and crap is clearing away. There were three Americans who fought the perp. One, Spencer Stone, is Air Force and was on leave. He was the first to attack the perp, and he got cut on his neck and had his left thumb "nearly cut off" maybe. Anyway, he's fine (relatively speaking); after surgery on his hand and installation of a cast, he's been released from the hospital. The other two were Alex Skarlatos (Air National Guard) and Anthony Sadler (civilian college student). The three became friends in middle school and were taking a vacation together. There was also a Brit named Chris Norman (in his 50's) who jumped in and helped.
The perp's AK apparently jammed, and one of the Americans grabbed it and used it to beat the perp unconscious. (Damned right, too. Every time I read that I get a big grin.) The four of them tied him up, and stood guard until the cops came.
Reportedly the perp also had a pistol but it didn't have a magazine in it. Clearly this guy was a real idiot. He's been telling the French Police that he found the rifle, the pistol, and the Molotov's under a bush in a Belgian park and decided to use them to rob the train, with no intention of killing anyone. Like anyone believes that.
And then there's a report that the railroad employees ran away and locked themselves in a special car, and ignored all pleas from passengers for help. Which is either astounding or not depending on your opinion of the French. Either way, if true it's despicable. (Reminds me of the Captain of the Costa Concordia.)
The three Amis and the Brit have all been given medals. And Stone's hospital bills better damned well be on the house!
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