Second French Church Attacker Known to Police

تم نشره في Wed 27 July / Jul 2016. 11:00 PM
  • A French Police Officer Approaching and Attack site in Paris - (AFP)

PARIS/SAINT-ETIENNE-DU-ROUVRAY, France — The second teenager involved in the church attack north of France this week was a 19-year-old who was known to security services as a potential Islamist militant, police and judicial sources said on Thursday, adding he also appears to have been pursued by the police, after a tipoff from a foreign intelligence service that he was planning an attack.

The revelations are likely to fuel criticism by opposition politicians that President Francois Hollande's Socialist government did not do enough to stop the pair given that they were already under police surveillance.

They interrupted a church service, forced a 85-year-old Roman Catholic priest to his knees at the altar and slit his throat. They were both shot and killed by police.

Police have identified the second man as Abdel-Malik Nabil Petitjean from a town in eastern France on the border with Germany, a judicial source told Reuters.

Security services had on June 29 opened a special file on Petitjean for becoming radicalized, a police source said separately. The government has said there are about 10,500 people with so-called 'S files' related to potential jihadi activities in France.

His accomplice, Adel Kermiche, had already been identified by police. He was known to intelligence services after failed bids to reach Syria to wage jihad.

Kermiche, also 19, wore an electronic bracelet and was awaiting trial for alleged membership of a terrorist organization having been released on bail.

(Reuters)

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