NICE — Moments before Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhle ploughed a 19-tonne lorry into an innocent crowd watching a fireworks display in Nice, he sent messages detailing his plans.
One read: “Bring more weapons. Bring in five.”
An earlier text said: “It’s good. I have the equipment.”
It comes after a neighbour revealed the terrorist gunman had bragged “one day, you’ll hear about me” before he carried out the horrifying attack.
The text messages were made from a mobile phone found in the lorry, along with the attacker’s driving licence and a bank card.
The text was sent at 10.27pm to a man, who is now in custody following a police swoop on the killer’s family and friends. It ended: “Bringing in five to C.”
The latest revelation emerged after his family said the 31-year-old was a wife-beating drug addict who never went to mosque.
Family described Bouhle as an “unlikely terrorist” who broke every law of Islam in his everyday life, including eating pork and drinking alcohol.
Neighbours in the village where Bouhlel lived also shed a disturbing light on his state of mind, describing him as “odd” who promised them he would be famous one day.
Wissam, a fellow Tunisian, claimed: “On the Thursday night he was drinking with a colleague and they argued. His pal said you’re worth nothing and he replied ‘one day, you’ll hear about me’.”
He added: “Look this is someone who drinks, smokes cannabis.”
A neighbour called Hannan, who lived on the floor below, said: “He always looked at me oddly. He stared at us and we avoided him.”
The attacker had reportedly told police that he was waiting to deliver ice cream in the lorry on the night of the attack.
Surveillance cameras captured Bouhle driving down the Promenade des Anglais twice in the days leading up the Nice bloodbath.
According to local reports, he can be seen observing the scene carefully as he deviously plots his deadly attack on Bastille revellers.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying the lorry driver was “a soldier” who responded to calls to target its enemies in the West.
Police have arrested seven people including Bouhlel’s ex-wife, Hajer Khalfallah. She was released yesterday.
Bouhlel had asked for the ‘heaviest truck’ available when he rented the 19-tonne vehicle and also took a selfie of himself in the vehicle between picking it up and going on his killing spree, sending it via SMS to others it has now been claimed. — Various