Tags: War on Terrorism | aleksander skarlatos | soldiers | thwarted | terror | attack | france

American Hero Who Stopped Paris Train Attack: 'We Got Lucky'

Image: American Hero Who Stopped Paris Train Attack: 'We Got Lucky'
(Getty Images) Aleksander Skarlatos

By    |   Friday, 28 Aug 2015 10:00 PM

One of the three Americans who thwarted a terrorist attack on a Paris train last week said Friday that "we got lucky in five or six different ways."

"If any one of those things went different, we all would have died," Alek Skarlatos, 22, a member of U.S. National Guard from Roseburg, Ore., told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News.

Skarlatos last Friday subdued Ayoub El Khazzani, a Moroccan with jihadist ties, with the help of two friends, U.S. Airman First Class Spencer Stone, 23, who suffered a knife wound in the incident, and Anthony Sadler, also 23, who is a student from Pittsburg, Calif.

A British consultant, Chris Norman, 62, also helped stop the attack aboard the train, which had about 550 passengers. El Khazzani was armed with an automatic pistol, a box-cutter knife and an AK-47 assault rifle.

The four heroes were honored by the French government.

"I have told other people this, but we frankly just got very, very lucky," Skarlatos said. "The handgun he had — he was only able to fire the one round."

Skarlatos described a chaotic scene to Van Susteren, which began when he heard a gunshot and breaking glass. He knew something was wrong when "a train employee ran past us at full sprint" away from the gunshot sound.

Both Stone and Sadler, who had been sleeping, then woke up.

"We both looked behind us and saw a guy entering our car with an AK-47 looking like he was trying to work the action or something like that," Skarlatos said. "So we both ducked down immediately. And I just told Spencer, 'let's go, go get him.'

"Spencer got to him first, tackled the guy," he said. "I guess he dropped his AK-47 around that time and it's all kind of a blink. And we beat up on him a little bit. Anthony got some blows in for sure. Spencer got the choke hold on the guy.

"Then he pulled out a handgun. It was right in front of me, so I just grabbed the handgun immediately. I pried it out of his hand. I tried to shoot him with it twice, but it was empty at that point, so I threw it.

"Then, I grabbed the AK-47, which was at his feet."

Stone eventually continued with the chokehold, as the other Americans beat El Khazzani, Skarlatos said. They finally brought him down.

"He put up a good fight, but when you got three or four guys that are all bigger than you, you don't stand a chance really."

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One of the three Americans who thwarted a terrorist attack on a Paris train last week said Friday that "we got lucky in five or six different ways."
aleksander skarlatos, soldiers, thwarted, terror, attack, france
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2015-00-28
Friday, 28 Aug 2015 10:00 PM
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