02:17 GMT25 June 2021
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    Government and security officials in France are facing more questions following Tuesday's terror attack in a Normandy church, after it was revealed one of the attackers was a jihadist facing trial for terrorism charges, described as a "ticking time-bomb."

    Adel Kermiche was one of the two attackers that stormed the church in the small town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, before slitting the throat of 86-year-old priest Jacques Hamel.

    Following a number of major terrorist attacks in France over the past 18 months, people have begun to question how the 18-year-old, who is facing a terror trial, was able to carry out the attack, which terror group Daesh (also known as ISIL) has since claimed responsibility for.

    ​Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Kermiche first came to the attention of authorities in March last year when a member of his family notified authorities that he was missing.

    He was then tracked down in Germany, while attempting to use his brother's identification card to travel to Syria.

    After being returned to France, he then fled again, this time to Turkey, where he was arrested once again and held in custody until March this year.

    ​Upon the terms of his release, Kermiche was fitted with an electronic bracelet, which reportedly allowed him to leave his house on weekdays for between four and five per day.

    While Keemiche's uncle said he thought the 18-year-old "was going back to a normal life," others held different views, with an unknown acquaintance telling Le Parisien newspaper that Kermiche was a "ticking time-bomb."

    Critics Slam Government Laws

    As French President Francois Hollande defended measures that allowed Kermiche to leave his home for a certain period during the day, others have heavily criticized the government, accusing them of negligence.

    "It should not be possible for someone awaiting trial on charges of having links to terrorism to be released," Frederic Lagache, deputy chief of France's police union said.

    ​This criticism was backed up by Mohammed Karabila, leader of the regional council of Muslim worship in Haute Normandie, in the area in which the attack took place.

    "How could a person wearing an electronic bracelet carry out an attack? Where are the police?" he asked.

    ​The latest attack has led to questions about the capability of France's law enforcement services to prevent further terror attacks in the country.

    Despite introducing a series of laws aimed at cracking down on jihadists and potential terrorists, critics of the government say the measures haven't gone far enough, and have called on Hollande to place to grant more power to security and law enforcement agencies.


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    jihadists, counter-terrorism, murder, terrorism, Islamist, Daesh, Francois Hollande, Germany, Europe, Turkey, France
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