The man—who tried to attack passengers aboard a high-speed train to Paris only to be taken down and hogtied by courageous American, British, and French men before he could claim a single murder victim—has claimed he was only interested in robbing the train with some guns he happened to find in a suitcase in Brussels.
However, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office, Ayoub El-Khazzani’s cell phone has been examined, and its history indicates he was watching a jihad video shortly before launching his attack.
French prosecutor Francois Molins said the YouTube video watched on Khazzani’s phone consisted of “Islamic preaching” and “urged violent acts,” according to a Fox News report. The phone was recovered from a bag Khazzani left on the train.
“When we looked at his mobile phone, and he’d said originally that he didn’t have a mobile phone, we were able to see… that in fact it was specifically dedicated to this project,” said Molins, as quoted by Sky News. “It had been used with an active line… a few hours before the event took place.”
In this account, Molins describes the video as “a YouTube film which tried to encourage people to fight and defend the prophet.”
The UK Independent says the video included “jihadist songs,” according to a source close to the French investigation and was viewed “between the time that he bought his ticket and the time he boarded the train.”
This report also states that a “liquid smelling like petrol” was also found in Khazzani’s bag and has been sent off for analysis.
The Independent says that, after delivering his story about finding a suitcase full of weapons under a random park bench and conceiving a plot to rob the train, Khazzani became “less and less lucid” and “eventually stopped speaking to investigators at all.”
“Belgian authorities searched two houses in the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek on Monday, where Mr. El-Khazzani may have stayed before boarding the high-speed train in Brussels,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “In particular, Investigators are looking for Mr. El-Khazzani’s sister, a Belgian official said. Mr. Molins said Mr. El-Khazzani spent time at her house before getting on the train, paying €149 ($173) in cash for a first-class ticket.”