Investigative documents from French intelligence services have just been published. The assassination of Fr. Jacques Hamel, which shocked France in July 2016, appears in a new light. It is no longer the isolated act of two imbalanced persons, but as an attack planned from abroad by an Islamic State leader.
" “You take a knife, you go to a church, you make carnage, even slash two or three heads, and there it is done.” The dialogue that started in the summer of 2016 from Syria by Rachid Kassim and the terrorist Abdel-Malik Petitjean, a French convert to radical Islam, is astounding.
On the following July 26, Fr. Jacques Hamel had his throat cut while celebrating Mass at the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, in Seine-Maritime.
From the choice of the target to the operating mode, through the elements to be included in an allegiance video, precious documents have been recovered and reconstituted by the DGSI, through the use of the computers and laptops of the two Islamist terrorists, as well as the interception of certain communications from the sponsor, Rachid Kassim, from Syria.
So many documents that were published by the weekly La Vie, on July 7, 2021, and which question the effectiveness of the action of the French security services, especially when they know that the murderers were known to the intelligence services for their membership in Salafist Islam.
For Me Mouhou, lawyer for Guy Coponet – one of the faithful seriously injured in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray church on July 26, 2016 - the assassination of Fr. Hamel could have been avoided.
The lawyer points to what he considers to be a “double fault - of the judicial authority and the intelligence services - and fatal errors of assessment.”
According to him, “Adel Kermiche (the second of the two terrorists) should never have been at large without being under increased surveillance. ...Nothing was done to make it possible to stop the deadly mechanism that he set in motion with his accomplice Abdel-Malik Petitjean under the rule of Rachid Kassim.”
This mechanic appears in the dialogue between terrorists when choosing their target. Abdel-Malik Petitjean with Rachid Kassim, the Syrian sponsor, was seeking a future place to attack.
“Is a synagogue good?” he asks. "Everything is good," answers his interlocutor, who warns however that he should not “focus on the Jews,” “because they tend to use that to do their little manipulation” and that “people immediately think of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The Syrian suggests instead targeting “sheitanerie stuff [satanism - editor's note], nightclub type, stuff like that,” or “café terraces.”
"I am waiting to see the world tremble over your action.… Have no mercy for these people,” adds Rachid Kassim in order to galvanize the future assassin. This last message dates from July 20, 2016.
Six days later, Adel Kermiche and Abdel-Malik Petitjean would commit their crime. They would be killed on the spot.
Each was nineteen years old, they were not lone wolves, as the press had tried to say the day after the attack, but the armed men of an Islamist ideology which, worryingly, is developing in France.