- Bouhlel had ‘unrestrained’ sex, drank alcohol, prosecutor says
- Attacker had grown beard eight days before the attack
The Nice truck driver who mowed down a crowd of revelers on Bastille Day showed no interest in religion until very recently, according to a French prosecutor.
“Several testimonies paint the picture of a man far removed from religious considerations, not a practicing Muslim, who ate pork, drank alcohol, took drugs and had unrestrained sexual activity,” Paris anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters Monday.
Still, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel had grown a beard eight days before the attack and had explained he did it for religious reasons, Molins said, citing another witness. The prosecutor also added that the man recently had a “clear interest” in jihadi movements and had made several Internet searches about the Koran since the beginning of the month.
Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian with French residency, was killed by police after he drove a rented 19-ton refrigerator truck for about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) down Nice’s seafront Promenade des Anglais on July 14, killing 84 people and wounding more than 200.
Molins said six people are currently in custody for interrogation and added that one of those had received a text message from Bouhlel minutes before the attack, mentioning the purchase of guns.
Bouhlel had gone on a reconnaissance trip a few days before the attack and took selfies on the Promenade des Anglais, Molins said. The man had also done Internet searches with the following key words “horrible deadly accident,” the Paris prosecutor said.
“The investigation shows at this stage that the terror attack in Nice on July 14 was premeditated,” Molins said