The uncle of the truck driver who killed 84 people on the French Riviera says his nephew was indoctrinated about two weeks ago by an Algerian member of the Islamic State group in Nice, as anti-terrorism authorities question potential accomplices in the devastating attack.
France held a countrywide moment of silence Monday to remember the victims, but the national mourning was punctured by anger and political division. Crowds massed on the Riviera seafront booed the visiting prime minister, whose Socialist government is coming under increasing criticism from the public and the conservative opposition for failing to prevent the Bastille Day carnage.
IS claimed responsibility for last week’s attack, though Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday that investigators have found no sign yet that attacker Mohamed Lahouaiyej Bouhlel had links to a particular network.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, who oversees terrorism investigations, said Bouhlel had expressed support for the Islamic State group and searched online for information about the Orlando attack on a gay nightclub. Searches of Bouhlel’s computer and phone showed his online searches relating to IS, other jihadi groups and violent images, Molins said.
The driver’s uncle, Sadok Bouhlel, told The Associated Press in Tunisia that given Bouhlel’s family problems — he was estranged from his wife and three children — the Algerian extremist “found in Mohamed an easy prey for recruitment.”
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