“Two ISIL followers targeted a church in Normandy on Tuesday, slitting the throat of an elderly priest celebrating Mass and using hostages as human shields before being shot by police.
“It was the extremist group’s first attack against a church in the West, and fulfills longstanding threats against “crusaders” in what the militants paint as a centuries-old battle for power. One of the attackers, who grew up in the town, had tried twice to leave for Syria; the second was not identified…
“The Rev. Jacques Hamel was celebrating Mass for three nuns and two parishioners on a quiet summer morning in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray when the attackers burst in and forced the 85-year-old priest to his knees before slicing his throat, according to authorities and a nun who escaped.
“She described seeing the attackers film themselves and give a sermon in Arabic around the altar before she fled. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the other hostages were used as human shields to block police from entering. One elderly parishioner was wounded.
“The two attackers were killed by police as they rushed from the building shouting “Allahu Akbar,” Molins said.
“One had three knives and a fake explosives belt; the other carried a kitchen timer wrapped in aluminum foil and had fake explosives in his backpack.
“One of the assailants was identified as Adel Kermiche, a 19-year-old who tried to travel to Syria twice last year using family members’ identity documents, but was arrested outside France and handed preliminary terrorism charges. Kermiche had an electronic surveillance bracelet after a judge overruled prosecutors and agreed to free him, Molins said.
“A statement published by the ISIL-affiliated ‘Amaq’ news agency said Tuesday’s attack was carried out by “two soldiers of the Islamic State” who acted in response to calls to target nations in the U.S.-led coalition fighting the extremist group in Iraq and Syria…”
–‘ISIL knifemen who ‘slit 85-year-old priest’s throat’ and took nuns hostage shot dead as second victim fights for life ’,
David Chazan, James Rothwell, Saphora Smith – Telegraph (U.K.), 26 JULY 2016
‘Islamic State’ Chanting Attackers ‘Behead’ Priest During Morning Mass In France’
“An elderly priest has been killed in a hostage situation in a church south of Rouen, Normandy, northern France this morning by Islamist attackers. His killers are understood to have been shot dead by French police.
“UPDATE 1630 — ‘Arabic sermon given in church before kneeling priest executed’
“France’s ‘Le Figaro’ reports the eye-witness account of a nun who managed to escape the Normandy church this morning and raise the alarm while it was under attack by Islamist killers. The paper states that one of the “executioners” gave “an Arabic sermon from the altar”, and that deceased Father Jacques Hamel was forced to kneel, before the men went for his throat with a knife. The paper also reports both of the killers had fake guns and imitation explosives.
“UPDATE 1530 — ‘Arrest Linked to Killer’
“ An arrest has been made following this morning’s attack. French police said the man held in custody was connected to the terrorist who has so far only been identified as ‘AK’…
“UPDATE 1430 — ‘Church was on terror hit list’
“The Saint-Etienne du Rouvray church attacked this morning was on a terror list found on the computer of Sid Ahmed Ghlam in April 2015, according to a report by Britain’s ‘Sun’. The paper states the would-be terrorist’s computer came to be examined after he accidentally shot himself in the leg while preparing an attack, and called an ambulance in Paris. The Rouen church was one of a number of places of worship on the Muslim’s lists of targets to hit.
“UPDATE 1400 — ‘Church killer was “known to security services”’
“At least one of the Islamists who was shot dead by police this morning after killing a Catholic priest was known to French security services. Britain’s ‘Sky News’ reports one of the killers was even electronically tagged and was being monitored by counter-terrorism officers. ‘Le Figaro’ reports the killer had tried to travel to Syria in 2015 but was forced to return. He was charged with criminal association and being associated with a terrorist organisation and detained. He was later released with an electronic tag.
“UPDATE 1320 — ‘Islamic State claims responsibility’
“French President François Hollande confirms terrorist attack. Media sources associated with the Islamic State have claimed the Rouen terror attack as their own, remarking that two of their own “soldiers” were responsible. Shortly beforehand, French President François Hollande told the press that it was an act of terrorism and that both attackers had proclaimed their allegiance to the Islamic State. He called it a “disgusting attack”…”
–‘Islamic State’ Chanting Attackers ‘Behead’ Priest During Morning Mass In France’,
BREITBART LONDON, 26 July 2016
Main PHOTO: Breitbart London