French church attacker had tried to reach Syria, was under surveillance

  • Reuters, Paris
  • Updated: Jul 27, 2016 01:39 IST
Police officers conduct a search as they investigate an attack on a church that left a priest dead in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy, France. (AP Photo)

One of the knifemen, who attacked a church in northern France on Tuesday, has been identified as 19-year-old Adel Kermiche, who was under close surveillance after two failed attempts to reach Syria last year, France’s anti-terror prosecutor said.

After the last attempt in May, 2015, Kermiche, who was from the Normandy town where the attack took place, was detained until March. He was then released but forced to wear an electronic tag to track his whereabouts and was allowed to only leave his home for a few hours a day, prosecutor Francois Molins said.

Police were still seeking to identify the second of the two attackers and raids were underway, Molins told a news conference after the attack in which a priest was killed.

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