France Attacker Visited Site With Truck Twice

Henrietta Brewer
July 18, 2016

Meanwhile, questions about the competence of the French security operation have been raised, as many fans were able to take fireworks into games at the football tournament despite heightened security, and there are still no security checks in the metro system of Paris.

Five people have been arrested since the attack.

Nice: Tunisian attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel visited the Nice promenade with his rented truck on two days before he rammed the vehicle into a crowd, killing 84, a source close to the investigation said.

"I want to call on all French patriots who wish to do so, to join this operational reserve", said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Saturday after the IS-claimed attack.

Defence and intelligence leaders are gathering at the Elysee Palace, the official residence of the French president, for talks about the atrocity, the third mass casualty attack against France in 18 months.

A teddy bear sits with flowers and paper tributes on the Promenade des Anglais near the scene of a truck attack in Nice, southern France, Saturday, July 16, 2016.

On Saturday, IS-affiliated Amaq news agency reported that Bouhlel "was one of the soldiers of Islamic State".

IS claimed responsibility for Thursday's truck attack that killed 84 people, but neither the extremist group nor the French government has provided concrete signs of an IS link with the driver.

France, on Saturday, began a three-day mourning period for the victims of the deadly attack claimed by the Islamic State group, also called ISIS.

At least 10 children were among the dead and 50 more were wounded, some of them critically, a hospital official said.

Cazeneuve said that the father-of-3 "seemed to have been radicalized very quickly, from what his friends and family" have told police.

Cazeneuve said the carnage had "deeply shocked the French and at the same time shows the extreme difficulty of the anti-terrorism fight". "We have an individual who was not known to intelligence services".

And a former neighbour said the 31-year-old had never spoken about extremism.

Within minutes the attack was over, with Bouhlel dead in a hail of police gunfire.

Al-Bayan warned that Western countries "will not be spared from the blows of the mujahideen" no matter how much they increase their security measures.

His father said Bouhlel had violent episodes during which "he broke everything he found around him".

"From 2002 to 2004, he had problems that caused a nervous breakdown".

Other reports by iNewsToday