Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

How Three Americans Prevented an ISIS Train Shooting

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

How Three Americans Prevented an ISIS Train Shooting

Article excerpt

How Three Americans Prevented an ISIS Train Shooting Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, and Jeffrey E. Stern. The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes. New York: PublicAffairs, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-61039-7339. $25.99. 6.125X9.25". 272pp.

This is a unique book about terrorism. I have never read about this incident before, so clearly it needs to be better publicized. The events unraveled on August 21, 2015 on train #9364 bound from Brussels to Paris. Ayoub El-Khazzani was armed with an AK-47, a pistol, a box cutter, and ammunition and he planned on massacring many aboard the train. However, just as he made his initial threat, three army-trained men attacked him and eventually disarmed him, so that nobody on the train was killed, and an ISIS plot was averted. The back cover shows a photo of the three of them with President Obama, who as I'm writing this is leaving the White House (on December 19, 2016). These three guys are Anthony Sadler (senior at Sacramento State University), Alek Skarlatos (specialist in the Oregon National Guard), and Spencer Stone (staff sergeant in the US Air Force). The author of the book is an established reporter that took down their story. I believe I obtained this copy at ALA, and for some reason it is signed by three people and incudes this note: "To Sara Jaffa, thank you for your support!" Well, either way.

The book opens at the climax: "Spencer is holding two fingers against a pulsing wound in Mark's neck. As the train races through the countryside at over 150 miles per hour, he's trying to plug the carotid artery because if he doesn't, Mark dies. …

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