ISIS Brings France To Its Knees

  • Two Islamic State soldiers took two nuns, two parishioners, and a priest hostage during a Tuesday morning mass in France.
  • As police arrived the attackers viciously killed the priest in front of the morning mass.
  • Authorities eventually were able to “neutralize” the two terrorists.
  • ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Islamic State, known for its large public demonstrations of hate, violence, and murder, have changed their tactics. Instead of flashy explosions that shake the foundation of hope within the community, small stealth operations are now the focus. 

We’ve seen them blow up airports and other transit stops. We’ve seen them put together mass shootings. There is always a bit of flash that comes with one of their attacks. Almost as if they are taunting us with how big and public their violent tantrums are. Yet now, things are changing.

Two Islamic State soldiers walked into a Catholic church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, and slit the throat of the 84-year old priest. That is a completely different kind of attack than we have ever seen from the Islamic State. They walked in on a Tuesday morning mass and murdered the priest in front of the congregation. They were vulnerable. They were in a place of worship and they were attacked.

The two attackers entered through the back of the church and grabbed two nuns, two parishioners, and the priest hostage. 

Police quickly responded and eventually announced that the “targets” were “neutralized”, I’m fairly certain that means that the French police came in guns blazing and killed the two Islamic State soldiers.

The French President Francois Hollande said, “[ISIS] has declared war on us. We must fight this war by all means while respecting the rule of law — what makes us a democracy.”

The priest, however, was not the only one injured. Another individual, believed to be a nun, was fighting to survive when authorities arrived on the scene. The priest, Jacques Hamel, was pronounced dead on arrival.

It has been reported that the church was on a “hit list” that was found back in 2015. Apparently, while raiding the home of a “would-be” ISIS insurgent, Sid Ghlam, the list was found. It was discovered that Ghlam was planning attacks in France when authorities arrested him. Investigators found an arsenal of weapons at his home. It was also uncovered that Ghlam had been in contact with someone in Syria who had been giving him “mission” and targets to attack. The church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray was one of the instructed targets.

The President of the Regional Council of the Muslim Faith for Haute-Normandie said that one of the attacks has been on the radar of the French police for a little over a year and a half. 

Pope Francis has condemned the attack and the “horror for this absurd violence.”

France continues to remain on high alert after the attack on Nice where 84 people were killed. However, with this display of hostage taking, and stealthy attack, we can now assume that ISIS has intensified their tactics. A terrorist organization that was once predictable, has now become a wild card.