PARIS/MADRID : A gunman overpowered by passengers on a train in France is known to European authorities as a suspected Islamist militant if the identity he has given is correct, France's interior minister said on Saturday.

Two people were wounded in the struggle to subdue the Kalashnikov-toting attacker aboard the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday. Two U.S. servicemen, one of whom suffered knife wounds, were among the passengers who stopped the gunman. Cazeneuve said the man's identity was not confirmed, but if he was telling the truth "he is a 26-year-old man of Moroccan nationality identified by the Spanish authorities to French intelligence services in February 2014 because of his connections to the radical Islamist movement". The man Spanish authorities had under surveillance left Spain for France in 2014, travelled to Syria, and then back to France, a Spanish counter-terrorism source said on Saturday.

In Spain, he lived in the southern port of Algeciras and appeared to have stayed in the country for about a year, the source said. Cazeneuve did not mention any visit to Syria or France, only naming Spain and Belgium as the suspected militant's places of residence, this year and last. He said inquiries in collaboration with other European authorities "should establish precisely the activities and travels of this terrorist". French newspaper Le Voix du Nord said the suspect may have had connections to a group involved in a suspected Islamist shooting in Belgium in January. The Belgian government confirmed an inquiry but would not comment further.