The following video report from TVLibertés describes what is now known about Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the mujahid who committed the truck massacre a week ago in Nice. He was neither acting alone, nor on a sudden impulse: he had accomplices (who have since been arrested), and had planned the attack for months. So much for the “sudden radicalization” of the killer.
Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:
Below is a related article from Le Figaro, also translated by Ava Lon, concerning an official order to destroy all the CCTV footage of what happened in Nice on Bastille Day:
Nice attack: When justice demands that the mayor destroy 24 hours of footage
INFO LE FIGARO — An urgent legal requisition was sent to the urban supervision center of Nice on Wednesday, July 20. The Paris prosecutor expresses a desire to “avoid the uncontrolled dissemination of these images.”
Panic and incomprehension in the office of mayor of Nice. On Wednesday at 11am the Anti-Terrorism Sub-Directorate (SDAT) sent agents who manage video surveillance of the city a requisition citing Articles 53 and L706-24 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Article R642-1 of the Penal Code, asking them for a “complete” erasure of 24 hours of images from six cameras named and numbered, but also of all the scenes from the beginning of the attack that took place on the Promenade des Anglais, on the night of July 14.
“This is the first time we have been asked to destroy evidence.”
The state agents of the urban supervision center of Nice are stunned. “This is the first time we have been asked to destroy evidence,” says a source close to the investigation. “The CCTV center and the city of Nice could be prosecuted for this, and also the officers in charge of the device don’t have jurisdiction to engage in such operations.”
The request is all the more astonishing given that since last Friday the SDAT sent its servers to recover the 30,000 hours of CCTV related to the events.
A backup operation that will extend over several days.
“We do not know that giving a destruction order while we are in full backup is not going to affect the whole system,” the investigators say with concern.
“This was done in this particular case to prevent the uncontrolled spread of these images.” — The Paris prosecutor.
Contacted by Le Figaro, the Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed the information and said: “This was done in this case to prevent the uncontrolled and unchecked dissemination of these images.” The national police remind that “out of the thousand cameras in Nice, 140 had elements relevant to the investigation. The police recovered 100% of them. The Judicial Police and prosecutors have asked for the pictures from these 140 cameras to be deleted, to prevent malicious use of them, concerned for the dignity of the victims and to prevent the reproduction of these images by jihadist websites for propaganda purposes.” Finally, at the chancery, it is specified that the application of a “complete” erasure is explained by the inability to undertake partial destruction of such equipment.
Images shared by several services
The day after the tragedy at the Promenade des Anglais, the police officers came to make a first review of the cameras that were filming directly the event. This led to a first report sent to the Interior Ministry. Strangely, it turned out to be these same cameras that are affected by the requisition from SDAT.
By Saturday, the Elysée [French White House] had requested copies of the footage of the attack. An authorization was granted by the Paris prosecutor. “It is not shocking that the president had wanted to see the attack. Will we have to ask the Elysée to return the CD that was sent to them?” asked someone close to the investigation. In any event, these videos are currently shared by multiple services, namely those of the police and the national gendarmerie, the police and firefighters.
|0:03||While the time has come for tributes and speeches, the investigation of the Nice attack is advancing|
|0:07||in baby steps. The profile of the killer becomes clearer. Mohamed, who was of Tunisian nationality|
|0:12||and not of double nationality, as we were being told before,|
|0:16||would have largely premeditated his actions,|
|0:19||a preparation shattering hypotheses’ of being “mentally unstable”.|
|0:22||Benjamin Nicolas: Questions about killer’s profile gradually fade.|
|0:27||Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31 years old, a Tunisian residing in France,|
|0:31||and a residence permit-holder for the last eight years had indeed premeditated his actions.|
|0:36||Research about his past revealed that his father had been a member of Ennahda,|
|0:40||a Tunisian Islamist party, not exactly known for its moderation.|
|0:43||Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was first introduced as suffering from depression, depressed|
|0:48||because of his divorce, and turned against society, and whose radicalization was, as always, sudden.|
|0:53||He had no “file S” [a terrorist record] but was under judicial review|
|0:56||for violent acts unrelated to terrorism.|
|0:59||Until now he had complied with those measures of control.|
|1:02||Anyway his crime was well thought-out:|
|1:05||apart from renting the truck, he repeatedly made marks on the slaughter route,|
|1:10||without arousing suspicions of law enforcement,|
|1:13||even though Nice is one of the French cities most monitored by cameras.|
|1:17||The terrorist managed to evade all the measures; the measures, all in all, rather light,|
|1:21||since no fences or concrete obstacles were installed|
|1:25||to prevent vehicles from entering the pedestrian zone.|
|1:28||It is partly for this reason that the vehicle could travel more than two kilometres|
|1:31||before being stopped by police bullets,|
|1:34||also by the municipal police, who were armed, fortunately.|
|1:37||Tired out, no doubt, by the very high security measures during Euro Soccer,|
|1:41||the security forces there were, according to Christian Estrosi, the president of|
|1:45||the PACA region [Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur] insufficient for the supervision of July 14;|
|1:49||the 84 dead and dozens injured, still between life and death, are the most striking results of it.|
|1:54||There was a delay in admitting that this event was a terrorist attack.|
|1:58||Instead it has been presented as an isolated act. A claim by ISIS in its propaganda newspaper|
|2:04||ended the hesitation, even if claims after the fact|
|2:07||should always be taken with caution. A message found on Mohamed’s phone|
|2:12||makes the investigators believe that he probably had accomplices.|
|2:16||A total of seven people were taken into custody, including a couple of Albanian Muslims.|
|2:20||They all have described the terrorist as a violent man.|
|2:23||Faced with this new attack striking France full force,|
|2:26||the socialist government is concentrating conveniently on paying their respects, to avoid drawing|
|2:30||any conclusions from their failure. The mourning time is constantly being mentioned|
|2:34||to make people accept the shocking and permanent lack of action.|
|2:37||While attacks accumulate on our territory, no resignation has been announced yet:|
|2:41||neither the minister of the interior nor local prefects from affected towns;|
|2:45||on the contrary, any critical commentary on the insecurity prevailing in France|
|2:49||is considered improper by the socialist government. The only permissible discussions are those|
|2:53||concerning compensation for victims, but that doesn’t seem to be handled better then the security.