Mass killer Mohamed Bouhlel
In an unexpected twist, investigators have claimed that the man who killed 84 people in a truck attack in Nice last week was bisexual.
Mohamed Bouhlel drove a 19-tonne truck into a crowd of families and gunned down bystanders as they celebrated Bastille Day on the French city’s Promenade des Anglais, before he was shot dead.
The militant group Isis, which is vehemently anti-gay and publicly executes those accused of homosexuality, has claimed it inspired the massacre.
French investigators said, however, that Bouhlel, a divorced father-of-three, was bisexual and used dating apps to meet men and women.
His phone was found with sexual pictures and images as well as messages between him and a string of sexual conquests, including a 73-year-old man.
Bouhlel, 31, also apparently used drugs and alcohol, ate pork and frequented bars and clubs, not in keeping with strict Islamic practice.
It is believed that he only recently became radicalised, perhaps as recently as April.
French channel BFM TV said that the data on the killer’s mobile phone reflected “the busy sex life of a man who had recently discovered a religious faith…”
Tunisian-born Bouhlel has been described as a troubled loner who had history of violence, including domestic abuse against his ex wife and mother-in-law.
According to the French media, Bouhlel had googled details of last month’s mass shooting at the Pulse Orlando gay nightclub before embarking on his own bloody rampage. There have been unconfirmed reports that the man behind that attack, Omar Mateen, also had same-sex affairs and may have been struggling with his sexuality.
Seven other suspects have been arrested in connection with helping Bouhlel organise the attack in Nice.