France Train Attack Was Ordered by Same Islamic State Terror Network as Paris Attacks

PARIS (AP) — The main suspect in a high-speed train attack thwarted by three Americans last year in northern France acted on orders from the leading member of the Islamic State cell that attacked Paris three months later, his lawyer said Thursday. Lawyer Sarah Mauger-Poliak told The Associated Press that Ayoub El Khazzani testified that he received specific orders from Abdelhamid Abaaoud to attack a Paris-bound Thalys express train in August 2015. El Khazzani, a 27-year-old-year Moroccan, was questioned at his request by a Paris counterterrorism judge Wednesday for more than five hours. It was the first time he agreed to answer questions about the case. “He gave the judge the name of the person who instructed him to attack this specific Thalys train: it’s Abaaoud”, Mauger-Poliak said in a phone interview. French authorities had earlier linked El Khazzani to Abaaoud, but without elaborating. It has never been reported before that Abaaoud also ordered the Thalys train attack. Abaaoud died a few days after the Paris attacks in a police raid outside the capital. During Wednesday’s hearing behind closed doors, El Khazzani told the investigating judge he made a trip to Syria and later traveled with Abaaoud in summer 2015,