The Marines on the French train were just as unarmed as the passengers of Flight 93. The difference was that, unlike the passengers on UA93, they were primed for war from the get-go. After the suspect emerged from charging his AK inside the toilet he was met by instant resistance. The rest of the training — the physical fitness, hand-to-hand combat drills, the desensitization to stress — helped in the affray. But nothing so much as the attitude the Marines carried around in their heads which allowed them to engage from time zero. richard fernandez
UPDATE: the Daily Mail tells us they were not Marines.
The Marine heros who saved, what, scores? hundreds? of fast train passengers in France were trained. They had situational awareness. More importantly, they had guts.
Right place at the right time. But the fact seems to be that French intelligence knew about the Morrocan gunman. They knew he was an Islamist. They knew he was wired into other Islamists. He was not a lone wolf, apparently. Rather he was a wolf a bit ahead of the pack.
I am delighted that the Marine heroes stopped him. But, if they hadn’t the French might have had to wake up to the fact they are at war. They might have had to take the measures against the Islamists which they have been ducking for twenty years. Mind you, when in 2004 191 Spaniards were killed in a train explosion set off by an Al Qaeda cell, not much changed in Spain.
The Marines who stopped this terrorist were brave men fighting in a noble cause. French Intelligence, not so much. But, I suspect, the French Intelligence failure was political in nature.
The French political classes, no more than the British or the Swedish political classes, cannot bring themselves to recognize that mass Islamic immigration is not compatible with a liberal, Western, society. The atrocities and near atrocities, need to add up before the political classes either wake up or are replaced. That will take a while. Whether there is enough time left is going to be interesting to see. I think there is; but it will be a close run thing