An elderly Catholic priest is the latest victim of the Islamic State in Europe. Two Islamic State terrorists killed Father Jacques Hamel, 84 at the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Rouen, France. The two men entered the church during Mass with knives and took the priest, a nun, and at least three parishioners hostage. One of the hostages is said to be in critical condition. A nun that was held hostage said the terrorists made the priest kneel at the altar and then they slit his throat in front of the other hostages.

“They forced him to his knees. He wanted to defend himself. And that’s when the tragedy happened,” said the nun, who called herself Sister Danielle. She added, “They recorded themselves. They did a sort of sermon around the altar, in Arabic. It’s a horror.” She told reporters that the slain man was “a great priest.” –The Daily Beast

A nun was able to escape and seek help from police. Police shot and killed both of the terrorists before more hostages could be hurt.

 

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One of the terrorists has been identified as a “Adel K” a 19-year-old Frenchman that was arrested for trying to leave to Syria in order to join the fight alongside ISIS in 2015. As a result of his arrest, he was sentenced to home-arrest at his parents house and given an electronic monitoring device to wear which is supposed to be monitored by counter-terrorism officers. Supposedly, part of the sentence allowed him to move freely during the morning hours, and the attack occurred between 9:30 and 11 am local time. Details about the other terrorist have not been released yet. The Sun stated that the church was on a ISIS “hit list” found on the computer of ISIS terrorist Sid Ahmed Ghlam in April 2015.

The Pope is visiting Poland this week in an effort to advocate for refugee rights. Fr Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office released this statement shortly after the attack:

“We are particularly shocked because this horrible violence took place in a Church, in which God’s love is announced, with the barbarous killing of a priest and the involvement of the faithful”.

Image courtesy of Getty