One of France church attackers faced terror charges, out on bail

2016-07-26 21:49
Hooded police officers conduct a search in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, after an attack in which a priest was killed. (Francois Mori, AP)

Hooded police officers conduct a search in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, after an attack in which a priest was killed. (Francois Mori, AP)

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Paris - One of the two attackers who stormed a church in France and slit a priest's throat on Tuesday had been charged with terror links and held before being freed on bail, a source close to the investigation said.

The assailant, who was known to France's anti-terrorism police, tried twice to go to Syria in 2015, the source told AFP. After his release, he had to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet that allows police to locate him at all times.

He had already threatened to attack a church, according to witness testimony collected in his neighbourhood.

"We knew he wanted to go to Syria," a 60-year-old neighbour of the assailant's family, who added that he "never saw him go to the mosque" that he attended.

The attacker was detained the first time in Germany, while he was on his way to Syria, the source close to the probe said. He was not yet 18 years old at the time.

The second time, which was after he had turned 18, he went through Switzerland, and was detained in Turkey. He was sent back to Switzerland and then France.

He was charged and jailed for associating with criminals with terror links. He was then released and fitted with an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Read more on:    france  |  security

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