Mourners in Nice have built an anti-shrine on the site where the lorry killer was shot dead by police, moments after massacring 84 people, Sky News reports. Passers-by are stopping to spit on the pile of stones and rubbish which has built up in the spot where Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel’s deadly rampage was brought to an end.
Among the cigarette butts and plastic bottles, one person has scrawled the word “coward!” Another has place an image of a middle finger, with the words “F*** Daesh” written across it, the Arabic name for the Islamic State group which has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The makeshift anti-shrine lies just a metres from the spot where flowers, candles, teddy bears and messages have been placed for the dozens of people run over by Bouhlel as he careered through a crowd on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais on Thursday.
Four days into the investigation, a disturbing picture of Bouhlel’s lifestyle in the weeks and months before the attack is beginning to emerge, including his violent past and “unbridled sexual activity”.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, who oversees terrorism investigations in France, said people interviewed by police described the Tunisian father of three as “someone who did not practice the Muslim religion, ate pork, drank alcohol, took drugs and had an unbridled sexual activity.”
Mr Molins told reporters, however, that signs of a “clear, recent interest in the radical jihadist movement” had emerged, leaving no doubt the attack was “premeditated.”
“The first sign that Bouhlel was planning something violent came about eight months ago, when he snapped a picture of a news story headlined: ‘Man deliberately rams car into cafe terrace,'” he said.
He also had “very violent” photos on his computer, of corpses, fighters posing with the IS flag, photos of al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden as well as Mokhtar Belmokhtar – a former commander for al Qaeda’s north Africa branch.
It was previously revealed that on the day of the attack, Bouhlel spent much of the Bastille Day holiday on the promenade, taking selfies on the beach and the walkway. Bouhlel’s uncle Sadok Bouhlel claims his nephew was indoctrinated about two weeks ago by an Algerian member of IS in Nice.
Many blame his government for failing to prevent the lorry massacre and the attack in Paris in November last year which left 130 people dead.