Nice attacker had accomplices and plotted for months, French prosecutors allege

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A terrorist who killed more than 80 people in Nice on Bastille Day had several accomplices and planned the atrocity for months, according to French prosecutors.

A married Albanian couple, two French-Tunisian men, and a Tunisian man are accused by anti-terrorism judges of aiding attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, the Telegraph reported.

French-Tunisian Bouhlel killed 84 people and injured more than 300 when he drove a truck and fired a pistol into crowds on July 14. He was later shot dead by police.

A search of Bouhlel’s computer and cell phone revealed photos of the Bastille Day fireworks in Nice last year. Prosecutors believe Boulel planned the attack for up to a year.

Bouhlel searched for information about the amphetamine-like drug Captagon, reportedly used by jihadists to reduce fear and tiredness.

A Facebook message sent on April 4 by suspect Choukri C. told Bouhlel: “Fill up the truck with 2,000 tons of iron and screw [them], cut the brakes and my friend I'll watch”, the Telegraph reported.

Prosecutors allege the Albanian couple supplied the pistol to suspect Ramzi A, who then gave it to Bouhlel.

French police found seven ounces of cocaine and 2,500 euros in cash at the home of Ramzi A. A police search at the home of one of Ramzi A’s associates found an AK-47 assault rifle and ammunition.

Surveillance footage shows Tunisian national Choukri C. with Bouhlel in the truck before the attack, according to prosecutors. Photos of the two and of suspect Mohamed Walid G. inside the truck were also found on Bouhlel’s phone.

Although ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, prosecutors said they have found no direct link between Bouhlel and the terrorist group.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Connection between Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel and five alleged accomplices
2. Bouhlel looking at photo of Bastille Day fireworks; calendar turning
3. Bouhlel researching Captagon, drug used by ISIS fighters
4. Message from alleged accomplice tells Bouhlel to load truck with iron, cut brakes
5. Alleged chain of supply of pistol used by Bouhlel

VOICEOVER (in English):
“French-Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel killed 84 people when he drove a truck into Bastille Day crowds in Nice.”

“A married Albanian couple, two French-Tunisian men, and a Tunisian national are accused of being involved in the attack.”

“Photos of Nice Bastille Day fireworks from 2015 were found on Bouhlel’s phone. Prosecutors believe he planned the attack for up to a year.”

“Bouhlel also searched for information about the amphetamine-like drug Captagon, reportedly used by jihadists to reduce fear and tiredness.”

“A Facebook message sent on April 4 by suspect Choukri C. told Bouhlel to load the truck with 2,000 tons of iron and cut the brakes.”

“Prosecutors allege the Albanian couple supplied the pistol to suspect Ramzi A, who then gave it to Bouhlel.”

SOURCES: The Telegraph
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/21/nice-attacker-had-planned-truck-rampage-for-nearly-a-year/