On air
  • RFI English Live
  • RFI French Live

Terrorism France Islamic State Social media

Issued on • Modified

Man linked to failed French church attack charged

Rouen Archbishop Dominique Lebrun leads a procession to honour murdered priest Jacques Hamel at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in October Reuters/Steve Bonet

A French anti-terror court on Friday charged a man in connection with a plot to attack a church near Paris in 2015. And a teenager has been arrested for links to a French jihadist suspected ot planning July's murder of a priest in a Normandy church.

A 29-year-old man, charged with association with a terrorist organisation, is suspected of having given Algerian man student Sid Ahmed Ghlam, who planned to attack a church south of Paris, the material he needed for the attack.

His DNA has been found on a bullet-proof vest that was kept in Ghlam's home.

The suspect, who was arrested on Tuesday, was released on bail after being charged.Three other men, who were arrested on the same day, have also been released.

Teenager charged

A teenager was arrested this week for alleged links to Rachid Kassim, a 29-year-old French national believed to be based on the Syria-Turkey frontier.

Kassim's name has appeared in connection with at least four recent terror plots targeting France and was the public face of an Islamic State armed group video claiming responsibility for the Bastille Day truck rampage that killed 86 people in Nice.

He is suspected to have coordinated the murder of Father Jacques Hamel in the church at Saint-Etienne du Rouvray on 26 July.

The 17-year-old, whose family recently moved to the Brittany city of Rennes from Belgium, used the Telegram encrypted message system to communicate with Kassim, the Paris prosecutor's office said.

He was discovered during the investigation into a 16-year-old girl believed to be in touch with Kassim on the same network and arrested in August.