French President Francois Hollande said the men who murdered 84-year-old Jacques Hamel pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL). They also took four people hostage. Hollande said:

“[ISIS] has declared war on us,” French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday. “We must fight this war by all means, while respecting the rule of law — what makes us a democracy.”

Authorities identified one terrorist as Adel Kermiche. His parents “flagged his radical behavior to authorities.”

We will continue to update this post as more information becomes available.

The Paris prosecutor gave a press conference. Alexander Marquardt tweeted out the details:

Authorities arrested Kermiche after he tried to travel to Syria. They put an ankle bracelet on him, but could be “deactivated for five hours a day allowing him to leave home without surveillance.” He also had “to check in with police once a day.”

Knives found on the terrorists.

Hollande addressed the nation:

Authorities charged one of the terrorists with terror links before and let him go on bail. He tried to go to Syria twice in 2015 and wore an ankle bracelet.

One terrorist charged with terror links in the past:

Police have released some photos of the scene:

The White House have released this statement:

Amaq, the ISIS news agency, claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying the men did it “in response to calls for attacks on the Crusader alliance.” There are reports the men shouted “Allahu Akbar” when they attacked the church.

In Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, a small town 77 miles northwest of Paris, the two men entered the church from the back and took the priest, nuns, and worshippers hostage. The terrorists slit the throat of Hamel and Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said one nun “was clinging to life.” The police showed up immediately and killed both attackers “outside the church, said a spokesperson for the French interior minister.”

A nun escaped and described the horrific murder:

A nun who was in the church during Tuesday’s attack said the 86-year-old priest was forced to the ground before his throat was slit.

“They forced him to his knees. He wanted to defend himself. And that’s when the tragedy happened,” said the nun, identified as Sister Danielle.

“They recorded themselves. They did a sort of sermon around the altar, in Arabic. It’s a horror,” she told BFM television.

Of her fallen colleague, she said: “He was a great priest.”

An Italian politician has urged Pope Francis to put Hamel “on a fast track to sainthood:”

Roberto Maroni, the president of the Lombard region, said in an appeal circulated on social media that “Father Jacques is a martyr of faith” and requested that the pope “immediately proclaim him St. Jacques.”

Shortly after the appeal, the hashtage #santosubito, which translates as “saint immediately,” began circulating on Twitter.

The canonization process is a lengthy one involving two miracles attributed to the person’s intercession, but in the case of a martyr only one miracle is needed, after beatification. There must first be a declaration by the Vatican that the person indeed died for the faith.

An anonymous source in the Paris prosecutor’s office said they have detained one person, but did not provide “details on the identity or location.” The anti-terror prosecutor has opened an investigation into the attack.

A Muslim leader in the area told the Associated Press that the French police had at least one of the men on their radar “and had traveled to Turkey.” He continued:

Mohammed Karabila, president of the Regional Council of the Muslim Faith for Haute-Normandie and head of the local Muslim cultural center, told The Associated Press that “the person that did this odious act is known, and he has been followed by the police for at least a year and a half.”

He said the attacker “went to Turkey and security services were alerted after this.” He had no information about the second attacker.

Sources told AFP that the government put the man “under house arrest after attempting to reach Syria last year.” He had an ankle bracelet on him.

[Featured image via Twitter]