American military man and former Dancing With The Stars contestant Alek Skarlatos still remembers the day he and two of his buddies tackled an alleged Moroccan ISIS recruit on a train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris.
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Two summers ago, Skarlatos and his friends, Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone, were aboard a high-speed Eurostar train when a gunman opened fire, CNN reported. The three American men, along with a French national and a Brit, tackled and subdued the alleged terrorist, Ayoub El Khazzani, according to official reports on the August 2015 attack.
El Khazzani had shot and wounded one passenger when Skarlatos, hearing a loud commotion, jumped into action. “Get him!” he yelled to Stone, according to Fox News.
Skarlatos told Fox that now, two years after the incident, “I still think about it every day. I get nightmares from time to time.”
The American hero said his reaction on that fateful day was just a “gut response.”
“I guess I was just lucky that I was able to do something and not freeze up,” he said. “That was the biggest thing I was grateful for because when you think about something like that, you never really know how you’re going to react until you actually do and so I was grateful I didn’t just sit there in shock.”
“It’s still something that I definitely can picture pretty vividly when I think back on it,” Skarlatos added.
El Khazzani,the alleged assailant, remains in custody in France.
In August of 2016, Skarlatos and his two friends wrote a book about their experience, titled, The 15:17 To Paris: The True Story Of A Terrorist, A Train, And Three American Heroes.
And last month, new reports confirmed that a movie based on the book is in the works. Clint Eastwood will direct the drama.
#ClintEastwood will direct a drama based on the book 'The 15:17 to Paris' The True Story Of A Terrorist, A Train, And Three American Heroes. pic.twitter.com/iuJKzZvdIE
— UKFilmNews.com (@UKFilmNews) April 20, 2017
Just before the movie announcement went public, Skarlatos told Fox News, “We’re kind of in the beginning stages of it now. I can’t say too much about it ’cause of nondisclosure but it’s hopefully going to happen.”
Once production wraps up, Skarlatos said that he plans to leave the Oregon Army National Guard and begin a career in law enforcement. He credits his patriotism for fueling his desire to continue serving his country and protecting others.
“Obviously patriotism means a lot to me because I went to Afghanistan and fought for this country,” he told Fox. “I’m very proud to be an American.”
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