Tuesday morning around 9:00, two terrorists stormed a Catholic church in the northern French region of Normandy, in the town of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray.
The two men reportedly yelled, “Allahu Akbar!” and “Daesh!” – how French authorities refer to ISIS – as they entered. Along with the priest, there were two nuns and another congregant in the sanctuary. The terrorists held them hostage for about an hour before being shot and killed by police who were alerted to the attack by one of the congregants who managed to escape before the priest was murdered.
The terrorists had forced the 84-year-old priest – identified as Father Jacques Hamel – to kneel before the altar, and they slit his throat, capturing the murder on camera.
“They forced him to his knees. He wanted to defend himself. And that’s when the tragedy happened,” said one of the nuns who was present during the attack. “They recorded themselves. They did a sort of sermon around the altar, in Arabic. It’s a horror.”
One of the attackers was a local resident who was arrested last year when authorities found that he had tried to travel to Syria for the purpose of joining ISIS. He was jailed in France after a trial, and when he was released, he had to remain under electronic tag surveillance. However, part of his bail terms allowed that he be unsupervised between the hours of 8:30am and 12:30pm. The attack at this Catholic church in Normandy happened between 9am and 11am.
As for the Catholic church itself, it was one of many churches on an ISIS hit list found on another terrorist a few months ago in April.
French President Francois Hollande weighed in:
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack that left a priest dead and another seriously injured. In a statement released by their Amaq news agency, they said that the attack was carried out by “two soldiers of the Islamic State.” They said that they’re targeting countries who are part of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com