Nice attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel watched Isis beheading videos and dated 73-year-old man

French media have reported that Bouhlel's mobile phone records show he used dating websites to meet men and women

Matt Payton
Monday 18 July 2016 15:33
Comments
Isis has claimed Mr Bouhlel was one of their 'soldiers'
Isis has claimed Mr Bouhlel was one of their 'soldiers'

The truck driver responsible for killing 84 people on Nice's waterfront watched Isis beheadings online and dated a 73-year-old man, it has emerged.

Mohamed Lahouaiyej Bouhlel, 31, was shot dead in the cabin of the white lorry he had driven into the packed crowds celebrating Bastille Day.

French media have reported that Bouhlel's mobile phone records show he used dating websites to meet men and women - including a 73-year-old man.

The device was picked up by police officers at the scene from the lorry's cabin after he was shot dead.

Police say the phone is proving more important to the investigation than the seven suspects in custody for their links to Bouhlel.

Investigators could not confirm the Tunisian-native was approached by an Algerian Isis recruiter, stating the case was ongoing.

Who was the Nice attacker?

The driver's uncle, Sadok Bouhlel, has told reporters that given Bouhlel's family problems - he was estranged from his wife and three children — the Algerian recruiter "found in Mohamed an easy prey for recruitment."

The uncle said he learned about the Algerian recruiter from extended family members who live in Nice.

Bouhlel's rapid radicalisation has puzzled investigators as friends and family said he had not been an observant Muslim in the past.

Despite Isis having claimed the attack, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told RTL radio Bouhlel may have been motivated by IS messages but not necessarily coordinating with a larger network.

Sadok Bouhlel, a 69-year-old retired teacher, in the driver's hometown of Msaken, Tunisia said: "Mohamed didn't pray, didn't go to the mosque and ate pork."

Sadok is devastated by his nephew's act, and doesn't want him buried in Msaken, saying: "He made more than 80 families grieve, and stained the reputation of our town and our country."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in