Source: Belfast Telegraph
Two ISIS members wielding knives in France, reportedly entered a church where they abducted priest Jacques Hamel, forced him to kneel while other four persons were made to watch a horrific throat-slitting execution.
A video has since appeared online showing the two terrorists performing “a sort of sermon”, before killing the man of God.
Though police killed the two jihadists on the spot, initial reports referred to both ‘killers’ as ‘unidentified knifemen’.
Current information reveals:
- Adel Kermiche, 19, has been identified as one of the attackers
- Kermiche was on probation and had twice attempted to travel to Syria
- Work to identify the second attacker is still ongoing
According to Belfast Telegraph, “the two killers reportedly demanded 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel kneel before them while they carried out the atrocity at the church at Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen”.
Father Jacques was said to have retired at the aged of 75 but has been very kind to help the congregation when necessary.
As of July 26 when he was killed, the priest was reportedly standing in for the regular priest, Father Auguste Moanda-Phuati, when two men wielding knives burst into the church at 9.43am French time on Tuesday.
The merchants of death killed him in front of two nuns and two worshipers, having taken the five as hostages.
Sister Danielle was lucky to have escaped from the scene with body and soul unhurt. She spoke with a French radio station RMC saying: “They forced him to his knees. He wanted to defend himself. And that’s when the tragedy happened.”
“They recorded themselves. They did a sort of sermon around the altar, in Arabic. It’s a horror,” she later told BFM television.
Image: Rev Father Jacques Hamel
Sister Danielle – who described the clergyman as a “great priest” – said she fled at the moment the attackers started slitting his throat. She then raised the alarm by stopping a passing motorist.
Describing the gruesome attack, the nun said: “Everyone was saying, ‘Just stop, you don’t understand what you are doing.’ But it had no effect.
“They forced us to get on our knees and he [Father Hamel] wanted to defend us. That’s when the violence started.
“Me, I realized the moment he started attacking Jacques, when he put him on his knees and almost made him fall over.
“It was then that I was able to escape. I got out quickly. They were busy attacking him with the knife, so they didn’t see me leaving.
“Everybody screamed. They recorded what they were doing. It was like a prayer, a sermon at the altar in Arabic.”
The Mirror quotes local media reports as suggesting that the knifemen shouted “Allahu Akbar” on the steps of the church.
Italian politician Roberto Maroni urged the Pope to make the him ‘St Jacques’.
President of the Lombard region said in an appeal circulating on the social media: “Father Jacques is a martyr of faith”.
One neighbor told weekly French magazine L’Express: “This was a man who did his job to the very end. He was old, but always available for everyone. He was a good priest. He had been here for many years; he lived in the rectory here. Many parishioners knew him very well.”