Nice terror attack: Killer Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel sent ‘£84,000 to family in Tunisia days before massacre’

The killer’s father claims his son suffered from psychological problems and was sometimes unstable

Alexandra Sims
Sunday 17 July 2016 10:01
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Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian delivery driver and chauffeur drove his vehicle more than one mile along the coastal French city's Promenade de Anglais
Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian delivery driver and chauffeur drove his vehicle more than one mile along the coastal French city's Promenade de Anglais

The man who killed at least 84 people after driving a lorry into crowds celebrating Bastille Day reportedly sent £84,000 to his family in Tunisia just days before the attack.

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian delivery driver and chauffeur, drove his vehicle more than one mile along the coastal French city's Promenade de Anglais, injuring more than 200 people and sending hundreds fleeing in horror. He was later shot dead by police.

Isis have claimed responsibility for the attack and French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve stated on Saturday that Bouhlel must have been “radicalised very quickly”. However, no evidence has yet emerged to show Bouhlel had connections to a terror group.

Jaber, the brother of 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel (AFP)

Bouhlel’s brother in Tunisia has described receiving a “fortune” in cash days before the massacre, after Bouhlel allegedly persuaded friends to smuggle bundles of money to his hometown of Msaken.

Jaber Bouhlel, told the MailOnline he did not believe his brother was a terrorist, but added he had not seen Bouhlel for several years and the money had come as a complete surprise.

“Mohamed sent us all of his savings, all of his worth in France. He had worked for eight years and this was the money he saved in France,” he said.

The killer’s father, Monthir Bouhlel, claimed his son suffered from psychological problems and was sometimes unstable. “He had some difficult times, I took him to a psychiatrist, he took his treatments and he said he had a serious mental illness.

“For four years, from 2002 to 2004 he had problems, he had a nervous breakdown. He would get very angry, and would break things for no reason, he was put on medication. But the one thing he did not get angry about was religion, he did not go to mosque, he drank.”

According to reports, Bouhlel visited the site of the attack in his rented truck on the two days before Thursday's atrocity and had asked a van rental office for “the heaviest truck you have”.

Bouhlel was a petty criminal who had many brushes with the law, but was “totally unknown to intelligence services...and was never flagged for signs of radicalisation”, prosecutor Francois Molins said on Friday.

On Saturday, however, France prime minister Manuel Valls said Bouhlel was “in one way or another” linked to Islamists.

The victims of the Nice attack

Seven people have now been detained over the killings as authorities attempt to determine whether Bouhlel was acting alone.

Meanwhile, questions have been raised about the security measures in place during the Bastille Day celebrations.

Regional president Christian Estrosi said a request he had made before the parade for more police officers had been rejected.

Additional reporting by agencies

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