Second French killer was teenager who turned back on journey to Syria

The second killer who attacked a Normandy church during morning mass has been identified as a teenager who was seen heading for Syria last month. Abdel-Malik Nabil Petitjean, who was spotted in Turkey but appeared to have returned to France before getting to Syria, was identified from DNA records. The 19-year-old was confirmed as the second unidentified man in a photo distributed to French police on July 22 with a warning that he could be planning an attack. Four days later, he was shot dead by police along with accomplice, Adel Kermiche, also 19, after they slit the throat of an 86-year-old priest in the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

He didn’t go to Syria. He turned around

French official reports that Petitjean returned to France on June 11

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack in Normandy, which followed the killing of 84 people in Nice and two other deadly incidents in Germany. French officials say Petitjean was harder to identify because his body was badly disfigured in the police shooting but officers found his ID card in Kermiche’s home and confirmed his identity in a DNA match with his mother, Yamina, They said he was born in eastern France, in Saint-Die-des-Vosges, but recently lived with his mother in Aix-les-Bains. She told a French TV channel he never talked about IS and could not have been the killer.

I know my kid, he is kind. I did not produce a devil. He never talked about IS.

Petitjean’s mother, Yamina