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Video: One year on, US soldiers recall foiled Thalys train attack

AFP | Archival image shows French President François Hollande posing for photographs with the heroes of the foiled Thalys train attack on August 24, 2015
2 min

Almost one year after they foiled what French police say would have likely been a deadly terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train, US servicemen Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos spoke to FRANCE 24 about the dramatic incident.

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Back in Paris to celebrate Independence Day on July 4 at the US embassy, Air Force Sergeant Spencer Stone said he had been waiting to return to the French capital ever since he left.

“I wanted to see what it felt like this second time around. So far it’s been pretty cool just being back with my friends. It’s a little slower-paced this time,” Stone joked.

There really is no place like Paris. It feels so good to be back.

Une photo publiée par Spencer Stone (@spencthang) le

On August 21, 2015, Stone, Skarlatos, their childhood friend Anthony Sadler, Briton Chris Norman and two Frenchmen wrestled and subdued a gunman who had opened fire on an Amsterdam to Paris train. The men were awared the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour, three days later and eventually returned home as heroes.

“Honestly, I just remember being lucky to be alive,” Skarlatos told FRANCE 24. “We could have died so easily if it wasn’t for a lot of luck and just having the right reaction."

Stone and Skarlatos, who have written a book with Sadler about the incident, agreed that their long friendship had also played a decisive role in thwarting the attack.

Click on the player above to watch FRANCE 24’s full interview with Sergeant Spencer Stone and Specialist Alek Skarlatos

Thalys train attack video from Alex Scarlatos

 

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