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French priest's killer was awaiting trial over attempts to go to Syria

Villagers in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray still can't quite believe their beloved Father Jacques Hamel is dead, CBS News' Elizabeth Palmer reports.

Eighty-five years old and a Catholic priest in the community for more than six decades, he was murdered during Tuesday mass when two men broke into the church and slit his throat.

One of those young men was identified as Adel Kermiche.

Social media pictures appear to show Kermiche as a youngster growing up in Northern France, but sometime in 2015, he was suddenly radicalized.

Undated social media photo of Adel Kermiche.

Twice he tried to go and fight for ISIS in Syria, Palmer says, and he was arrested under France's terrorism laws.

At the time of Tuesday's attack, Kermiche was awaiting trial. He was living with his parents and wearing an electronic tag.

"We tried to bring him to his senses," his classmate Redwan said.

"But he would quote the Koran to us, saying France is the land of the unbelievers, and we should go to Syria and fight," he continued.

Predictably, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed credit, calling the assailants Soldiers of the Caliphate.

On Wednesday, an 86-year-old woman, one of five held hostage Tuesday at the Normandy church, said the attackers had handed her husband Guy a cellphone and demanded that he take photos or video of the priest after he was killed. Her husband was in turn slashed in four places by the attackers and is now hospitalized with serious injuries.

The elderly woman identified only as Jeanine told RMC radio that her husband played dead to stay alive. Two nuns were held hostage along with the couple and the priest, while a third nun escaped and gave the alert.

"He fell down looking upwards, toward us," said Jeanine.

"The terrorists held me with a revolver at my neck," she said, adding it was not clear to her now whether the weapon was real or fake.

The Paris prosecutor, Francois Molins, said the two attackers had knives and fake explosives - one a phony suicide belt covered in tin foil.

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said 4,000 members of the military force called Sentinel will patrol Paris, while 6,000 will patrol in the provinces. They are bolstered by tens of thousands of police and reservists being called up.

Hollande, meanwhile, presided over a defense council and cabinet meeting Wednesday in Paris after speaking with Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim and Jewish leaders.

The identity of the second attacker has not been made public. Police combing the area after the attack detained a 16-year-old whom Molins said was the younger brother of a young man who traveled to the Syria-Iraq zone of the Islamic State group carrying the ID of Kermiche.

There have been at least 12 attacks of this kind in Europe in less than 2 years, Palmer reports, and most of the attackers had a history of petty crime. Some, she says, had a history of mental illness and all were vulnerable to violent extremist propaganda that would suddenly turned them into mass murderers.

"These are individuals, sometimes on the radar screen of the police, sometimes not, and being able to determine where the next attack may take place, how it may be carried out, is very difficult to do," said Thomas Sanderson, an analyst from the Center for Strategic Studies.

Europeans are worried and scared. And realistically expecting more.

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