French truck killer Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was helped to prepare his Bastille Day attack by five suspects who are now in custody, prosecutor Francois Molins said today.
Molins said the four men and a women were “involved in the preparation” of the attack, which had been planned months in advance. More than 400 investigators have been poring over evidence since the July 14 attack in which Bouhlel rammed a truck into crowds on the Nice promenade, leaving 84 dead and over 300 injured.
Molins said that one of the suspects had filmed the scene of the crime the day after the carnage, as it crawled with police and journalists. The five suspects will be presented to anti-terrorism judges later today and Molins said prosecutors had requested they be charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, among other crimes.
Meanwhile, French lawmakers on Wednesday approved a six-month rollover of emergency rule in the wake of last week’s truck attack on the city of Nice, the third deadly assault in 18 months for which the Islamist State militant group has claimed responsibility.
The extension of extra search-and-arrest powers for police was approved by 489 votes to 26 against shortly before dawn in France’s National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls, jeered by crowds at a remembrance ceremony last Monday and criticised by politicial opponents over the attack, called for national unity when presenting the emergency rule bill overnight.