French authorities formally opened a terrorism investigation on Tuesday after a thwarted attack on a high-speed train last week, saying the suspected attacker had watched a radical Islamic video onboard minutes before the violence.
Prosecutor Francois Molins said Tuesday the decision to open an investigation was based on the actions by 26-year-old Moroccan suspect Ayoub El-Khazzani on the train Friday night and information from other European authorities about his travels and apparent links to radical Islam.
Molins said El-Khazzani notably watched the online video on his phone minutes before he walked through the Amsterdam-to-Paris train carrying an assault rifle and other weapons.
Authorities say that they found the suspect’s phone in a bag left in the train. El-Khazzani boarded the train on Friday at a Brussels station.
The gunman was tackled and tied up by a group of three American friends and a British businessman. Another man who tried to stop him — a French-American named Mark Moogalian — remained hospitalized with a gunshot wound.