THIS is the baby-faced terrorist who stormed into a Catholic church in Normandy and slit the throat of a 86-year-old priest in front of his terrified congregation whilst shouting "Allahu Akbar".
By TOM BATCHELOR AND NICK GUTTERIDGE
Two attackers killed a priest with a blade and seriously wounded another hostage.
Weedy Adel Kermiche was shot dead by police marksmen alongside another maniacal Islamist attacker after the pair targeted helpless nuns taking part in an early morning Mass.
The baby-faced 19-year-old, who lived with his mum just 200 yards from the church in Normandy, was a convicted terrorist who was known to the French authorities and should have been monitored with an electronic tag.
But despite his attempts to travel to Syria to fight for Islamic State (ISIS) he was free to enter the church at just after 9am and brutally murder Father Jacques Hamel in a barbaric attack.
His brother is believed to be a jihadi militant in the Middle East and tonight it emerged how he became radicalised after hero-worshipping the Charlie Hebdo attackers.
Kermiche was caught attempting to cross the Turkish border into Syria in early 2015 and was deported back to France via Switzerland, where he was electronically tagged and forced to live with his parents.
At the time his mother - a teacher - told Swiss media that her son had turned to radical Islam after hearing about the Charlie Hebdo massacre, when jihadi gunmen murdered journalists at a French satirical magazine.
She said: "The Charlie Hebdo killing was like a detonator for him".
"From then this happy, kind young man who would go out with friends – closed himself off. He obsessively attended his local mosque.
"It was like he had been brainwashed and bewitched – preaching to his non-practicing family."
Would you believe demon-possessed? Can it be that hard to pick out radicalized Muslims from social media, friends, colleagues, etc.? France, and all of Europe have to make it illegal to be radicalized and keep all such people locked up until they renounce violence and jihad very convincingly.
Kermiche was radicalised after hearing about the Charlie Hebdo attack. The 19-year-old beheaded a priest at a church in Normandy
Kermiche is pictured as a child on his Facebook page wearing an Algeria football hat, but listed himself online as being from Port Louis in Mauritius.
He went to College Paul Eluard in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, just yards away from where he committed today's barbaric attack.
According to French media, Kermiche should have been living with his parents under a court order.
He was allowed out unsupervised between the hours of 8.30am and 12.30pm. Mass at the church started at 9am.
I-tele reported that the teenager, who was shot dead by police during the siege, spent nearly a year in prison before being released on March 2.
The church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, blocked by police following an attack by two knife-wielding men GETTY
French President Francois Hollande speaking outside Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray's city hall GETTY
French President Francois Hollande has confirmed the attack was carried out by Islamic State sympathisers. Mr Hollande said the two hostage takers were terrorists who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
He said: ”Daesh has declared war on us, we must fight this war by all means, while respecting the rule of law, what makes us a democracy,” using an Arab acronym for the Islamist extremist group.
A statement released by ISIS’ Amaq news agency said two Islamic State “soldiers” carried out the Normandy church attack in France. The statement said: "They carried out the operation in response to the call to target the countries of the crusader coalition.”
The development will pile further pressure on France's security services, which were already facing criticism for their response to (failure to prevent?) the Nice attack which left 84 people dead.
France has been rocked by a wave of terrorist incidents and police and counter-terrorism specialists are scrambling to stop further attacks.
The latest incident has sent sent shock waves through a nation already reeling from deadly massacres including attacks in Paris aimed at rock fans and sports crowds and the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.