ISIS terrorists stormed a church in France, took hostages and killed an 84-year old priest (26 July, 2016)

On this day in 2016, ISIS terrorists stormed a church in France region and took hostages, killing an 84-year old priest before they were shot by police.

ISIS really has the knack of carrying out disgustingly horrific acts of terrorism.

ROUEN, FRANCE — OK, I have a confession to make. I am really getting tired of writing about ISIS (Islamic State). I seem to refer to them a lot in these posts which feature a terrorist attack at some point in the past (as recently as 2019: that too is history). This is for one reason to be expected as that particular group was indeed behind a lot of terrorism.

Some would argue that I should NOT be talking (or writing) about them since this gives them attention and they do not ‘deserve’ it. To this I say ‘pshaw’: ISIS is what it is and we cannot ignore what they have done. It is for the same reason that I pushed back on those who said we should not use the term ‘ISIS’ as the terrorist group was neither ‘Islamic’ nor in possession of a state.

Instead, said the pundits, use ‘Daesh’, and many indeed did. But here is the problem: Daesh is Arabic for Ad-Dawla Al-Islamiyah fi Iraq wa Shams, which translates to ‘the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’. So, we are calling ISIS….ISIS, except that it is in Arabic. What, then, have we gained?

With this in mind I will – alas – continue to write about ISIS since to not do so would be intellectually dishonest. To ignore what they did to innocent people – rapes, beheadings, burnings, etc. – would be dismissing the fate of the victims, and I for one will not do that.

So, here goes, another Today in Terrorism on ISIS.

On this day in 2016 two self-styled ISIS terrorists stormed a church in Rouen, in the northern part of France, and took five people hostage during a morning mass. They killed the 84-year old priest performing the service. Elite French police units specialised in hostage-taking surrounded the church and subsequently killed the terrorists as they exited the building.

Within hours of the attack, the ISIS-linked Amaq news agency, said “two IS soldiers” had carried out the murder. Yeah, two brave ISIS soldiers killed an 84-year old man in cold blood. Heroes to be sure – NOT!

Suffice to say I will be writing again about ISIS in the (near) future. Sorry, but this is relevant to our understanding of terrorism.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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