Incident Summary:

07/26/2016: Two assailants stormed a church and held six people hostage in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Upper Normandy, France. Father Jacques Hamel was killed and another person was injured in the attack. One hostage escaped and alerted police forces, who killed the two assailants and freed the remaining four hostages. The assailants, identified as Abdel Malik Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in a video prior to the attack. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) also claimed responsibility for the incident; however, Petitjean and Kermiche's connection to ISIL could not be confirmed.




Western Europe

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Barricade Incident)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray Church
Specific Description Church
Nationality of Target France
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 6
US Hostages 0
Outcome Combination
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Handgun
Melee Knife or Other Sharp Object
Fake Weapons
Weapon Details
A handgun, a knife, and a fake explosive device covered in aluminum foil was used in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Jihadi-inspired extremists Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Video)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 2
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 3 Fatalities / 1 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 3
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 2
Total Number of Injured 1
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Paris - Church attacker threatened France in new video," AFP (North European Service), July 29, 2016.
"Syrian asylum seeker in custody over links with church attack: report," Xinhua General News Service, July 29, 2016.
"Normandy killer was tagged after previous terror plots," The Independent, July 28, 2016.