On August 21, 2015, Ayoub al-Khazzani boarded the 15:17 train in Brussels, bound for Paris. Khazzani’s mission was clear: he had an AK-47, a pistol, a box cutter, and enough ammunition to obliterate every passenger on the crowded train. Slipping into the bathroom in secret, he armed his weapons and prepared to launch his attack.
“The 15:17 to Paris details the trio's journey from unremarkable childhoods to chance heroism to international fame and the complicated aftermath. Journalist Jeffrey E. Stern weaves together the friends' stories with intimate detail, giving readers a more nuanced portrait than what emerged in the global news coverage … up-close moments, flashbacks throughout the chronological memoir, make for a compelling ride, especially once we get to know the protagonists. Stern dives into the minds of our three heroes, all in their early 20s, and the chain of events that put them in position to stop what could have become one of the West's deadliest terrorist attacks.”