One of the radical Islamic terrorist that murdered 85-year-old Catholic priest Fr. Jacques Hamel has been identified as a 19-year-old Normandy native with a history of terrorism charges. Adel Kermiche was wearing an electronic surveillance bracelet while he committed the brutal atrocity. French Prosecutor François Molins told reporters that Kermiche was arrested for attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIS.
The teen was first arrested in March 2015 when he attempted to travel to Syria using his brothers passport. German police arrested Kermiche and returned him to his family’s home. He reportedly ran away from home after being returned home.
Another month would pass before he attempted to enter Syria yet again, this time through Turkey. He was arrested once again and returned home to where he would be placed under house arrest after spending several months in a French prison.
An electric surveillance device was attached to the terrorists leg. The device allowed Kermiche to leave his home on weekdays between the hours of 8:00 am and 12:30 pm. The attack on the church occured at approximately 9:25 on Monday morning. The two men entered the church armed with knifes and fake explosive devices. The would stab Hamel once in the chest before slitting his throat. They would then use hostages as human shields to discourage police intervention. Both men were killed by police when attempting to flee the church.
France has been in a state of heightened emergency since the Paris terror attacks of November 2015. The French governement has stated that they have struggled to monitor the thousands of people that have been labeled as domestic terrorist since that time. Over 10,000 people have been flagged by the French government as potential terrorists, according to CNN. French President François Hollande has stated that he will double the number of officials tasked with monitoring these individuals following the attack.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has also commented on the attack; calling it “barbaric” and promising a swift and “defiant” response.