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Teen Who Killed French Priest Tried to Enter Syria Twice and Had Been Imprisoned Prior to Attack


The teenage terrorist who forced an 86-year-old French priest to kneel before slashing his throat inside a church has been identified.

Read: 2 'Soldiers of ISIS' Slit Throat of 86-Year-Old Priest and Hold Nuns and Churchgoers Hostage During Mass

Adel Kermiche, 19, was an Algerian-born Frenchman who was released from prison twice after attempting to head to Syria to join ISIS.

In March 2015, he was stopped by German police and accused of trying to travel to Syria and sent back to France. Two months later, he attempted to enter Syria again through Turkey and was sent back home.

Earlier this year, Kermiche was released from prison and was ordered to wear an electronic tag by French courts and could only leave his home between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

He carried out his attack on the church during the hours out of his home.

Kermiche was born in Algeria then moved with his family to France. Of three children, he was the middle child, and his mother was a professor in France. 

Kermiche and an unnamed accomplice entered the Normandy church and held the small congregation inside hostage. It was Kermiche who carried out the attack on Father Jacques Hamel.

Read: After Bloody Church Siege in France, Are American Houses of Worship Safe From Terror?

The two terrorists were shot dead by police as they exited the house of worship.

ISIS quickly claimed responsibility for the attack and called the terrorists “soldiers” for their actions.

On Wednesday, French President Francois Hollande joined Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim and Jewish leaders calling for unity following the church attack.

Watch: Counterterrorism Experts Call For More Security Around Airports in Wake of Attacks 

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