A priest has been killed in a suspected terrorist attack after two knifemen stormed a church in the town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy. Police are handling the incident as a terrorist incident and have called in anti-terrorism prosecutors.

Reports indicate the attackers burst into the church during Morning Mass and took five people hostage. It is believed the five hostages were two churchgoers, two nuns and the priest.

La Figaro have reported the knifemen “slit the Priest’s throat” before being “neutralised” by Police. Another hostage was seriously wounded in the attack and remains in a critical condition. RAID forces, an elite police intervention unit, are currently searching the church and surrounding grounds for explosive devices.

The attackers motive is as of yet unknown, and no group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. Speaking in the town, President Hollande said the terrorists claimed to be from Daesh.

Credit Apple
Credit Apple

France is currently in a state of emergency, declared by President Hollande following the Bastille Day attack in Nice which killed 84.



  1. To understand the motivations of these people one needs to acquaint themselves with Islamic theology generally and of the salafists specifically. For instance most of the suicide bombing in Iraq between Sunni and Shia tribes can be explained through competing claims for the true way of Islam and the emergence of the Mahdi – understanding these brings a lot of clarity to a murky situation.

    As for terror attacks on the West and on the Christian church: there is a move within IS to provoke all out war and cast it as a religious battle in order to fulfil a number of “prophecies” regarding “Rome”. It is not merely about creating fear but trying to foster the conditions they deem necessary to usher in their apocalyptic vision of the world.

    Even the black flags of ISIS are an attempt to embody and fulfil certain apocalyptic “prophecies”. Consider this Hadith: “If you see the black flags coming from Khurasan, join that army, even if you have to crawl over ice, for this is the army of the Caliph, the Mahdi and no one can stop that army until it reaches Jerusalem.” (Note the reference to the Mahdi and the final destination)

    Trying to understand their motivations through a politico-economic lens will only lead to confusion. One must employ a religio-cultural one. Only then can a coherent response be determined to these atrocities.


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