The three Americans who managed to prevent an attack on the Thalys from Amsterdam to Paris in August 2015 were given French nationality. They received the certificate during a ceremony in Sacramento by the French consul-general Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens.
Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone, all 26, had submitted a request for naturalization in April, since they had a strong connection with France since their action on the high-speed train. “They have risked their lives for the values of the Republic,” said Lebrun-Damiens.
The three US military were traveling in Europe when the incident occurred in Thalys. The Moroccan jihadist Ayoub El Khazzani was armed with a Kalashnikov on the train and wanted to make an attack. He opened the fire, but the Americans managed to overpower him and thus prevent a bloodbath.
The Americans grew into heroes in France and were given the highest and most important French national award by the then President François Hollande: the French Legion of Honor. The trio can also be seen in ‘The 15:17 to Paris’, a film by Clint Eastwood, with the real heroes of the time in the leading role.
🇺🇸🇫🇷 The three Americans who stopped a terrorist attack on a train from Amsterdam to #Paris in 2015 have officially become French citizens.— FRANCE 24 (@FRANCE24) February 1, 2019
"It was important for us to become citizens because we have such a connection with France now," said @alekskarlatos pic.twitter.com/yY9TLyZRRf