Eight Muslim terrorists have been arrested in connection with the Bastille Day massacre in the French city of Nice, prosecutors announced today.
The terrorists are all former associates of Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, the 31-year-old Tunisian who used a 19 tonne truck to slaughter 86 people on July 14.
His terror attack was later claimed by ISIS, as the terror organisation said the bloodshed was all part of its ongoing murderous campaign against France.
Paris prosecutors said coordinated raids across the south of France on Monday led to the eight men, who are of Tunisian and French nationality, being taken into custody.
Six terrorists are already under formal criminal investigation in relation to the case, meaning the total of suspects is now 14.
The identities of those arrested this week in Nice, Saint-Laurent-du-Var and Cagnes-sur-Mer have not been revealed.
But the others include Chokri C., Mohamed Oualid G. and Ramzi A., who face criminal trial for ‘complicity to kill as part of gang related to a terrorist enterprise’.
All three are said to have spent time with Lahouaiej-Bouhlel in the days leading up to the attack on a crowd of some 30,000 people attending a fireworks display.
Another terrorist called Hamdi Z. is under investigation for ‘criminal association in relation to a terrorist enterprise’ after appearing in a ‘selfie’ photo taken by Lahouaiej-Bouhlel in the truck, just before the attack was launched.
Ramzi A. has also been indicted for firearms offences, along with an Albanian couple – Artan H. and Enkeledja Z. – who are said to have supplied a pistol to Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, which he fired at police.
Police have come under severe criticism for allowing the atrocity to happen, on what was France’s biggest national holiday of the year.
All trucks were meant to be banned from the seafront at Nice, yet Lahouaiej-Bouhlel’s vehicle was effectively unchallenged as it set off along the Promenade des Anglais.
Lahouaiej-Bouhlel suffered from psychological problems, and showed very little interest in religion, but had started to read about terrorist extremism on the internet just before his death.
He has often been portrayed a lone wolf killer, but anti-terrorist investigators are convinced that others knew what he was planning.
France remains under a state of emergency following a series of Isis atrocities over the past year, including the November 13th attacks on Paris.
They saw a so-called ‘commando’ unit wearing suicide belts and carrying AK-47s slaughter 130 people in cold blood, and maim hundreds of others.