Calls for tighter patrol of European trains

  • 30/08/2015

European ministers have called for more multinational patrols and tickets marked with passengers' names on major continental trains in the wake of last week's foiled jihadist attack on a Paris-bound train.

The group of ministers meeting in Paris also called for increased checks on passengers and baggage at major stations and for the European Commission to tighten gun laws, in a joint statement read by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

"It is indispensable to put in place coordinated and simultaneous checks on certain targeted routes," said Cazeneuve, adding that efforts were underway to improve information-sharing on suspected jihadists.

The ministers called on the commission to reinforce gun laws by the end of the year "to reinforce traceability ... and fight trafficking (of arms) on the internet".

Cazeneuve said multinational patrols already existed in major stations, but that ministers had agreed to increase their "efficiency and use them more".

"We will also work to evaluate the consequences of introducing named tickets for international, long-distance trains," he said.

The ministers from Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland arranged to meet in Paris in the wake of a foiled jihadist attack on a train from Amsterdam to Paris on August 21.

French prosecutors have charged Ayoub El Khazzani, a 25-year-old Moroccan, with the "targeted and premeditated" attack after he stepped out of a toilet cubicle with an assault rifle, 270 rounds of ammunition and a Luger pistol strapped to his chest.

He was quickly overpowered by a group of French, British and American passengers, who have since been awarded France's top honour, the Legion d'Honneur.