The man behind the attacks last Thursday in Nice was totally unknown to French intelligence services; however, he had a criminal record in France for acts of violence, threats, and theft. The investigation that was opened by French authorities after Thursday´s attacks in Nice is trying to clarify whether Mohamed Bouhlel was connected with radical groups.
Ties with a terrorist organization
French authorities are trying to determine whether the suspect acted alone or had accomplices. They will also investigate possible links with criminal organizations. Although Thursday´s attack had not been claimed by any terrorist group, it corresponds exactly with the calls to kill that terrorist organizations spread in magazines and videos.
French police found a 7.65 mm handgun, along with replica weapons and a grenade in the lorry. The investigation is now focused on finding out how the suspect obtained the weapons found in the truck and the gun with which he shot people and police, as the fact that he rented the lorry days before the attack suggests that the attack may have been planned with anticipation.
What is known about the attacker?
He was identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel through a driver´s license found at the scene of the attack. He was a French resident born in Tunisia. A picture of this man shows him as a married man with three children, although separated from his wife. Some neighbours describe him as good-looking; however, a distressed and unpredictable man who was hostile to people, as he rarely responded to a greeting and he used to stare at children with insistence.
Criminal record but no known terrorist ties
The attacker had a license that allowed him to drive a truck and worked as a delivery driver. One month before the attack, he was involved in an accident for having fallen asleep while driving, for which he was detained and arrested. In March of this year, he was convicted for an altercation with another driver whom he threw a wooden pallet at. Being his first conviction, he was able to get a suspended sentence and would only contact police once a week.
At the time of the attack, Bouhlel was not on a watch list as a suspect militant. After the incident, Bouhlel's house was searched by the police, who found documents and electronic material. The attacker´s former wife was taken into custody for interrogation.
A truck driven by a man rammed into a crowd that had gathered on Thursday to watch the fireworks celebrating Bastille Day in Nice. The attack has been related with an act of #Terrorism; however French authorities are still investigating. #Blasting News UK #Nice Attacks