The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes

The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes


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The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes by Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, Jeffrey E. Stern

Now a major motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood.

An ISIS terrorist planned to kill more than 500 people. He would have succeeded except for three American friends who refused to give in to fear.

On August 21, 2015, Ayoub El-Khazzani boarded train #9364 in Brussels, bound for Paris. There could be no doubt about his mission: he had an AK-47, a pistol, a box cutter, and enough ammunition to obliterate every passenger on board. Slipping into the bathroom in secret, he armed his weapons. Another major ISIS attack was about to begin.

Khazzani wasn't expecting Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone. Stone was a martial arts enthusiast and airman first class in the US Air Force, Skarlatos was a member of the Oregon National Guard, and all three were fearless. But their decision-to charge the gunman, then overpower him even as he turned first his gun, then his knife, on Stone-depended on a lifetime of loyalty, support, and faith.

Their friendship was forged as they came of age together in California: going to church, playing paintball, teaching each other to swear, and sticking together when they got in trouble at school. Years later, that friendship would give all of them the courage to stand in the path of one of the world's deadliest terrorist organizations.

The 15:17 to Paris is an amazing true story of friendship and bravery, of near tragedy averted by three young men who found the heroic unity and strength inside themselves at the moment when they, and 500 other innocent travelers, needed it most.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610398190
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 01/16/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 99,151
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Anthony Sadler is a senior at Sacramento State University, majoring in Kinesiology and Athletic Training. He lives in Sacramento.

Alek Skarlatos is a specialist in the Oregon National Guard. A former student of Umpqua Community College, he was recently a finalist on season 21 of Dancing with the Stars. He lives in Roseburg, Oregon.

Spencer Stone is a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force. He lives in Sacramento.

Jeffrey E. Stern is the author of The Last Thousand: One School's Promise in a Nation at War. He has been named both a Pulitzer Center fellow for crisis reporting and a graduate fellow at the Stanford Center for International Conflict and Negotiation. Stern's reporting has appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, Foreign Policy, Atlantic, Newsweek, Slate, Time, and New Republic. He has also been featured on PBS News Hour, NPR Morning Edition, and Morning Joe, among others.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Anthony Sadler 1

Ayoub 12

Part I Spencer Stone 15

Ayoub 95

Part II Alek Skarlatos 101

Ayoub 163

Part III Anthony Sadler 169

Acknowledgments 231

Notes 232

Index 240

About the Authors 245

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The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this story, God still makes and uses real life heros (like the story of David & Goliath) and it was nice that He chose 3 from the US, it gave me hope for our future! I felt a national pride rise up in me again for the first time in many many years!
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
The 15:17 to Paris is a non-fiction book by Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Jeffrey E. Stern. On Friday, August 21st, 2015, in Brussels, an ISIS terrorist boarded the 15:17 to Paris, armed with an AK-47, a pistol, a box-cutter and a large amount of ammunition. There were 554 passengers on the train, but before he managed to enact his plan, three men charged and overpowered him. There were injuries, but no lives were lost. As well as describing the events on the high-speed THALYS train that Friday afternoon, this book describes Ayoub El-Khazzani’s movements before and during this heinous intended act, as known from various sources. Also described are the youth, adolescence and early adulthood of the three brave American men, Anthony, Spencer and Alek, who took him on. Revealed are how they came to possess the skills that helped them disarm El-Khazzani, their mindset and the events that led them to be on that train. The aftermath: a call from President Obama; the ceremony with the French President awarding them the Knight of the Legion of Honor; the emotional turmoil about further terrorist acts that occurred in Paris; the celebrity, interviews and media attention; the 9/11 parade in Sacramento; meeting President Obama; all are recounted. Sadler’s narrative conveys just how surreal it all seemed, and how long what they had done actually took to sink in. A riveting read.
Janice Jacobs More than 1 year ago
Not only is this a compelling true story about unexpected heroism, it is also a story about the powerful force of friendship and the abiding grace of God. I picked it up just to browse through and could not put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A story of three ordinary Americans that showed honor when it mattered most
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had followed the news story and just saw the movie, but the book was great in adding much more detail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This true story is one that should be told again and again. It tells us of the strength of the human spirit. We can be so proud of these three young men who did what they had to do to save other human beings. It restores my faith.