This is the heavily-armed suspected terrorist with ties to radical Islam who was overpowered by passengers on a train from Amsterdam to Paris.
Ayoub El-Khazzani, 26, is being quizzed by French counter-terrorism police after he allegedly opened fire on the high-speed train with a Kalashnikov.
The Morocco-born suspect reportedly wounded one man before he was disarmed and beaten unconscious by two American soldiers and a student.
Alarmingly, he had already been on government officials' radars in four European countries before he carried out Friday evening's terror attack.
He had been deemed a terrorist threat following the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris - and had apparently fought with ISIS in Syria earlier this year.
Questions are now being asked as to how El-Khazzani was able to move freely around Europe, despite being widely known as 'potentially dangerous'.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Saturday that Spanish authorities had flagged the jihadi to French officials last February because he belongs to the 'radical Islamist movement' - something El-Khazzani appeared to support on his Facebook page, which has since been deleted.
El-Khazzani, who was reportedly radicalized while living in Spain, was subsequently placed on an intelligence watch list in France.
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Suspect: Ayoub El-Khazzani (above), 26, is being questioned by French counter-terrorism police after he allegedly opened fire on a high-speed train from Amsterdam to France with a Kalashnikov on Friday evening. Alarmingly, the suspect had already been on government officials' radar in three European countries before he carried out the terror attack, which left a U.S. soldier and a citizen wounded
Disarmed: The 26-year-old Moroccan national, who reportedly left France for Syria in 2014 before later returning to France, boarded the train in Brussels. He was beaten unconscious (above) by two American soldiers and a student after he apparently started shooting
Heroes: Left to right, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler, who disarmed the gunman with the help of a UK businessman
Arrest: The suspected gunman was held on the platform (above) of the station in Arras in France so police could arrive and detain him
He was identified as a terrorist threat in January after terrorists stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo and shot dead 12 people, it is reported.
On Saturday, officials confirmed through fingerprints their suspicions that the Thalys train terrorist was the same man who had been on their radar.
Although Cazeneuve did not give a name, a source familiar with the case named the shooter as El-Khazzani, Reuters reports. The source said he was believed to have flown from Berlin to Istanbul on May 10 this year. Turkey is a preferred flight destination for would-be jihadists heading for Syria.
El-Khazzani is thought to have received military training with ISIS there, before traveling to Syria to fight with the terror group, The Telegraph reports
The suspect had left France in 2014, before traveling to Syria and returning to France to assemble a horde of deadly weapons, it is said.
In Spain, he lived in Madrid between 2007 and 2010 before moving to the southern port of Algeciras.
He was arrested in Spain at least once for a drug-related offence, the Spanish counter-terrorism source said.
Cazeneuve said the man had also lived in Belgium and that inquiries 'should establish precisely the activities and travels of this terrorist'.
French newspaper Le Voix du Nord reported that the jihadi may have had connections to a group involved in a suspected Islamist shooting in Belgium in January. The Belgian government confirmed an inquiry into the shooting is under way, but would not comment further on any potential link.
In total, El-Khazzani had been identified as a terrorist threat by Spanish, French, German and Belgium intelligence services, it is reported.
However, it is unclear whether he was placed under surveillance in any of the countries. The motive behind Friday's attack also remains unclear.
French authorities have been on high alert since the Charlie Hebdo massacre, during which 11 people inside the satirical magazine's offices were shot dead by brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi. As they left the building, the terrorists also killed a French National Police officer on the street.
According to The Telegraph, El-Khazzani had reportedly been in contact with the Kouachi brothers prior to the devastating massacre.
Video footage of the aftermath has emerged, showing what appears to be the gunman lying on the floor (right) with his hands and feet tied up with t-shirts. A man (left) is seen on the ground with a head injury
A police forensic officer walks along a platform next to the Thalys train which was the scene of a suspected terrorist attack on Friday
French forensic police officers wearing protective suits inspect the crime scene on bord the Thalys train following the incident
In the days after the shooting, several other terrorist attacks were carried out by Islamist militants in the French region, killing a further five people.
During Friday's attack, El-Khazzani, 25, allegedly burst out of a toilet cubicle on the train and fired his rifle once, wounding a French-American citizen.
However, his weapon then jammed, giving his would-be victims their chance to pounce.
Air Force serviceman Spencer Stone, of Carmichael, California, Alek Skarlatos, a National Guardsman from Oregon, and their childhood friend, Anthony Sadler, a university senior, confronted El-Khazzani and wrestled his rifle, a handgun and nine magazines of bullets from him.
They then shoved him to the ground and beat him unconscious, with the help of British businessman Chris Norman, 62, it is reported.
In the attack, El-Khazzani pulled out a box cutter knife, slashed Mr Stone in the neck and 'almost cut his thumb off' in the melee.
But despite his injuries Mr Stone gave first aid to another man bleeding heavily from a neck wound before the train made an unscheduled stop in the northern French town of Arras ten minutes later, where it was met by dozens of armed police and paramedics.
El-Khazzani was arrested at the station.
The duel French-American citizen with a bullet wound was transported to hospital via helicopter, while Mr Stone was taken to another hospital.
He was released on Saturday and offered waiting photographers a humble wave as he exited the hospital, with his left arm in a blue sling.
He then slipped into a black sedan with diplomatic license plates and was driven away.
On Friday night, train staff on-board the high-speed train on Friday evening were accused of barricading themselves in their staffroom and locking the door, leaving passengers to fend for themselves as El-Khazzani made his way down the train, with a Kalashnikov strapped over his shoulder.
French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, who was on the train during the attack, claimed the crew locked themselves in an office away from the attacker and refused to help the trapped passengers. But the head of Thalys, the train company that ran the train, denied that passengers were abandoned.
Anglade told Paris Match: 'We heard screaming passengers in English, 'He shoots! He shoots! He has a Kalashnikov!'' The actor, who was travelling with his two children and his girlfriend, said: 'Suddenly, members of the crew ran into the hallway and their faces were pale.'
He said the staff hurried towards their own car on the train and opened it 'with a special key' before they locked themselves inside.
Mr Anglade claims he and other passengers banged on the door and shouted at staff to open up, but their cries for help were ignored.
He said: 'Nobody replied, there was radio silence. It was terrible and unbearable, it was inhumane.
'The minutes seemed like hours and protected my children with my whole body, telling them everything was fine.'
But Agnès Ogier, the director of Thalys, said: 'The controller that was in question, he found himself under fire. He felt a bullet graze him. He took with him five or six passengers. He took them into the luggage compartment, and then he pulled the alarm. '
'Mr Anglade has seen what he has seen, something very traumatising. I can only tell you what we told our agent. And the second officer walked around the train just after the shooting. All this happened very quickly. What I know to say is that the Thalys train staff fulfilled its mission.'
Spencer Stone emerged from the central hospital in Lille, France, wearing bandages and a sling a day after tackling a terrorist down
Hero: Stone offered the cameras a humble wave before slipping into a black sedan with diplomatic license plates
US airman Spencer Stone is wheeled out of the station bleeding from the head, neck and hand after getting stabbed during the ambush
Also on Friday, Mr Sadler described how the attacker pleaded with him, Skarlatos (who was on leave and travelling through Europe at the time after returning from a tour in Afghanistan), Stone and Norman (who works as an IT consultant) to return his AK-47 to him after they grabbed it.
'He was just telling us to give back his gun,' he said. '"Give me back my gun! Give me back my gun!"
'But we just carried on beating him up and immobilised him and that was it.'
Speaking from France, Mr Sadler also described the moment they realized El-Khazzani was attempting to carry out a terror attack.
'We heard a gunshot, and we heard glass breaking behind us, and saw a train employee sprint past us down the aisle. They saw a gunman entering the train car with an automatic rifle, he said. 'As he was cocking it to shoot it, Alek just yells, 'Spencer, go!' And Spencer runs down the aisle.
'Spencer makes first contact, he tackles the guy, Alek wrestles gun away from him, and the gunman pulls out a box cutter and slices Spencer a few times. And the three of us beat him until he was unconscious.'
Skarlatos described Stone's heroic actions to ITV News in the aftermath of the attack.
'Spencer ran a good ten metres to get to the guy and we didn't know that his gun was not working or anything like that,' he said. 'Spencer just ran anyway and if anybody would have gotten shot it would have been Spencer for sure and we're very lucky that nobody got killed, especially Spencer.'
He added that he was in 'good spirits' in hospital, but was still shocked by what unfolded.
The four men have since been commended for their bravery by President Barack Obama.
Chris Norman (pictured centre) speaks with the media at the police headquarters in Arras after he helped to tackle the gunman
French police officers patrol Gare du Nord train station in Paris one day after the foiled terror attack on a train heading towards the city
Thwarted train gunman was part of an Islamic terrorist cell which came within hours of carrying out another 'major' attack
'The president expressed his profound gratitude for the courage and quick thinking of several passengers, including US service members, who selflessly subdued the attacker,' a White House official said.
'While the investigation into the attack is in its early stages, it is clear that their heroic actions may have prevented a far worse tragedy.
'We will remain in close contact with French authorities as the investigation proceeds.'
Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande has tweeted that he will meet the men to thank them. He said: 'I express my solidarity with the wounded from the attack on the train from Amsterdam to Paris. Everything is being done to shed light on this tragedy.'
And British Prime Minister David Cameron has also praised the four men for their actions.
A No 10 spokesman said: 'The Prime Minister praised the extraordinary courage of the passengers who intervened and helped disarm the gunman, including the British consultant Chris Norman. The bravery of Mr Norman and the other passengers helped to prevent a terrible incident.'
Video footage of the aftermath has emerged, showing what appears to be the gunman lying on the floor, moaning with pain, with his hands and feet tied up with t-shirts after he was beaten unconscious.
The camera then pans around to the Kalashnikov resting on a seat surrounded by blood stains on the windows. The Moroccan national, who was known to security services, got on the train in Brussels and attempted his attack soon after crossing the French border.
The camera then pans around to the machine gun resting on a seat surrounded by blood stains on the windows
Anthony Sadler and Alex Skarlatos at the entrance of the Arras police station in northern France
Anthony Sadler (right) and Alek Skarlatos have plenty to ponder after thwarting a terror attack by overpowering a gunman on the train they were travelling on
French newspaper La Voix du Nord cited security sources as saying the Islamist militant was seen on a plane to Turkey from Germany in May, and was thought to have visited Syria.
It added that he may have had connections to a group involved in a suspected Islamist shooting in Belgium in January.
AFP has quoted an anti-terror source saying, 'He lived in (southern) Spain in Algeciras for a year, until 2014, then he decided to move to France.
'Once in France he went to Syria, then returned to France.'
It is understood that El-Khazzani boarded the train, which had more than 550 passengers on board, in Brussels on Friday and made his move as soon as it crossed into France.
Speaking in Arras, Cazeneuve praised the Marines for their timely intervention.
He said: 'Thanks to them we have averted a drama.
'(The Americans were) particularly courageous and showed extreme bravery in extremely difficult circumstances.'
Belgian journalist Marin Buxant Tweeted that the US Marines were on leave in Brussels when they spotted the man and followed him on the train. When the suspect went into the toilet, the Marines recognized the sound of a weapon being armed and decided to act immediately, he said.
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'. The incident happened approximately 115 miles north of Paris near the town of Arras.
Spencer Stone, who is part of the U.S. Air Force, spotted the 26-year-old Moroccan acting suspiciously and heard him trying to arm his weapon in the toilet of the high speed train between Amsterdam and Paris
Stone is pictured top left with his Air Force colleagues. His brave actions were applauded by French police and the White House
(from left to right) Anthony Sadler, from Pittsburg, California, Aleck Sharlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, and Chris Norman, a British man living in France thwarted the attacker while on the train. They are pictured with medals they received for bravery
Engineer Laurent Duquesne said he followed a woman who was looking for help with her husband when he saw the carnage.
He told The Telegraph: 'I went into the compartment and saw a man with what seemed to be a bullet wound in the neck, with another man trying to staunch the bleeding. he himself was wounded in the hand, possibly with a knife. They had tied up the gunmen and he was lying face down on the floor of the compartment with his hands tied behind his back.'
France remains on edge after Islamic extremists attacked the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris in January.
In June, a man beheaded his boss and tried to blow up a gas plant in southern France in what prosecutors say was an attack inspired by ISIS.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: 'We are aware of reports of shots being fired on a train in France.
'We are aware of reports that shots were fired on a train in France earlier today. The French authorities have responded. There are no reports that British nationals have been injured.'
Interior ministry spokesman Pierre Henry Brandet said: 'A man opened fire on this Thalys train between Amsterdam and Paris, one person was very seriously injured. Talking about a terrorist motive would be premature at the moment.'
El-Khazzani remains in Parisian officials' custody.
A wounded passenger lies on the floor on the train - the man has not yet been identified
French police sealed off the train after the gunman was arrested. He was disarmed by the servicemen after he began shooting
Emergency services greeted the train as it arrived in Arras to help with distressed passengers who witnessed the attempted atrocity
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3207394/Pictured-Moroccan-terrorist-26-taken-hero-airman-friends-opening-fire-French-train-emerges-fought-ISIS-Syria-known-FOUR-intelligence-agencies.html#ixzz3japCwWNm
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