Bastille Day attacker planned assault for months, had accomplices

by Abel Hampton July 23, 2016, 6:34
Bastille Day attacker planned assault for months, had accomplices

Nice truck attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel received logistical support for his Bastille Day attack from five suspects who are now in custody, French prosecutor Francois Molins has said.

The truck driver, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, was a Tunisian who had been living in Nice for several years. "They have brought in the soldiers of Allah to finish the job".

In the wake of the attack, people around the world adopted the slogan "Je Suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) in solidarity with the victims at the satirical newspaper.

The July 14 attack by the Tunisian delivery man at peak holiday time on the Riviera plunged France into new grief and fear, just eight months after jihadist gunmen killed 130 people in Paris.

"When there is a tragedy, or in this case an attack with many dead. there will naturally be questions", Hollande said during a visit to Dublin, adding that the conclusions of the police probe would be announced next week.

None of the suspects had known terrorist ties, though at least one - a 21-year-old French-Tunisian man from Nice identified as Ramzi A., had a criminal record.

In the aftermath of the Nice attack, the Islamic State declared Bouhlel a "soldier" of the militant group's self-proclaimed caliphate, although French authorities said their investigation has not found any direct links between Bouhlel and the Islamic State.

The cracks began to show when it was learned Bouhlel was texting with others shortly before the attack and several possible accomplices were arrested several days ago, *Shocked* - Nice truck terrorist maybe wasn't a "lone wolf" after all.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve acknowledged Thursday that only lightly armed local police were guarding the entrance to a pedestrian zone on the Nice beachfront when driver Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel sped past a barricade and ran over 84 people.

An internal police investigation into the security measures has been launched.

Earlier in the day, French police conducted a counterterrorism operation in the Argenteuil area north of Paris near a mosque and an Islamic library, authorities said. Using witness statements and photos, "Liberation" showed that only one local police vehicle was stationed at the entrance to the Nice boulevard on July 14. Using witness statements and photos, Liberation showed Thursday that only one local police auto was stationed at the entrance to the Nice boulevard on July 14.

The criticism comes as the National Assembly extended France's state of emergency for six month. He was shot and killed by police on the scene.

The prosecutor also said that Bouhlel's interest in IS and other radical Islamist groups was rather recent.

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