In the video, which circulated online today, the two young men sit on stairs while one speaks softly, pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who he calls the “emir of the believers." The man promises to “listen and obey,” according to a translation by the extremist monitoring firm SITE.
The two men pose with an Islamist flag often associated with Islamic extremist groups including ISIS, but the flag’s colors apparently have been inverted, turning the usually black flag white.
Just days ago anti-terror authorities in France issued an alert warning of a potential imminent attack by an unnamed man. The notice included a photo of the suspect who closely resembles the silent man from the video.
Two attackers were killed by police after storming a church in the city of Rouen, France, about 80 miles north of Paris, and stabbing to death an 86-year-old priest.
One of the attackers has been identified by authorities as 19-year-old Adel Kermiche, who investigators said had twice attempted to travel to Syria, the nation from which ISIS is based. He had been placed on house arrest.
While authorities did not immediately comment on the video’s release, French President Francois Hollande Tuesday said the killers had “claimed allegiance to ISIS.”
A nun who was in the church told French TV the priest was forced to his knees before he was attacked with a knife, The Associated Press reported.
“He wanted to defend himself,” said the nun, identified as Sister Danielle. “He was a great priest.”