The French government has officially charged five people in relation to the Nice terror attack that left 84 people dead and many more injured. Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was the attacker that carried out the truck attack in the French Riveria city of Nice. It was believed that the terrorist had acted as a “lone wolf” shortly following the attack. However, new details reveal that Bouhlel planned the attack for months with the help of at least five conspirators. The five assailants carried out a variety of roles from helping Bouhlel obtain items and supplies for the attack to returning to the scene of the crime the next day to document the carnage for pro-radical Islam propaganda.
The five suspects are 22-year-old Franco-Tunisian Ramzi, 37-year-old Tunisian Chokri, 40-year-old Tunisian Mohamed Oualid, 38-year-old Albanian Artan, and his wife Enkeledja. Many of the people who new Bouhlel before the attack described him as a non-practicing, or liberal, Muslim that ate pork, drank alcohol, took drugs and engaged in sexual activity. The five suspects are believed to be responsible for Bouhlel’s radicalization.
The exact roles of each suspect is unclear. It is believed that Mohamed Oualid returned to the scene of the crime to take photos and videos that will later be used by a terrorist cell to glorify the attacks. According to police Chokri sent Bouhlel a Facebook message earlier this year reading:
“Load the truck with 2,000 tonnes of iron… release the brakes my friend and I will watch.”
The links between the suspects and Bouhlel were discovered after more than 400 investigators reviewed all of Bouhlel’s telephone records and electronic communications. A digital “paper trail” provided investigators with enough evidence to arrest all five suspect on several charges.According to police all five of the suspects were unknown to security officials prior to the attack. Only Ramzi had a criminal record for minor charges such as drug possession.