PARIS — Judges must decide Tuesday whether an AK-47-toting Moroccan who was tackled by fellow passengers on a high-speed train will be charged with attempting a terror attack.
Prosecutors in Paris will announce later whether they are seeking judicial investigation into Ayoub El-Khazzani or requesting an extension to his police custody.
The 26-year-old was disarmed as he emerged from a toilet cubicle armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, a pistol and a knife on a train from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday.
Four American passengers helped to overpower him, including two off-duty members of the military, their friend and a language teacher who was shot and who remained in hospital early Tuesday where his condition was reportedly described as “worrying.”
Investigators were trying to piece together the gunman's background. Khazzani was suspected by Spanish authorities of being a radical Islamist after moving there from Morocco in 2007.
He worked for three months in France for cellphone company Lyca Mobile where his boss, Alain Jochimek, on Tuesday recalled him as a "good worker." In May this year, Khazzani flew from from Germany to Turkey in May, Le Monde newspaper reported.
Khazzani told a lawyer Sunday that he denied terrorism, had found the assault rifle in a park in Brussels, Belgium, and only intended to rob passengers in order to get money for food.
However, BFM-TV reported that he was no longer answering any questions from counterterrorism investigators and is refusing to talk as the 96-hour limit to his custody period loomed.
L'Express reported that one of the cellphones found on Khazzani had only been activated the day of the attack.
French President Francois Hollande on Monday awarded childhood buddies Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler the Legion d'Honneur for their efforts in stopping Khazzani. British businessman Chris Norman, also received the award during a ceremony at the president's official residence.
Mark Moogalian, 51, originally from Midlothian, Virginia, was shot while assisting in thwarting the gunman and was being treated at Lille Central Hospital.