The man suspected of carrying out a shooting and vehicular assault in Nice, France – was already known to authorities despite contradictory claims.
French officials are reporting that 84 people were killed in Nice, France, following reports of a truck being deliberately driven into a celebratory crowd after Bastille Day festivities this past week.
Almost immediately after the incident occurred on Promenade des Anglais, officials and media were calling the unusually strange sequence of events an ‘act of terror.’
Here at 21WIRE, we’ve already noted some of the peculiar aspects of this latest ‘attack’ on France, while also considering the politics at play – namely, the possible ‘boost’ in France’s role in Syria and Iraq:
“According to initial reports, a truck-lorry, said to be driven by a ‘terrorist’ and possibly one accomplice, drove into crowds who were heading home after a Bastille Day fireworks display along the beach in Nice, France. Early reports also claim that after the truck’s occupant drove into the crowd he proceeded to fire gun shots at the crowd, before being shot and killed by the police.”
QUESTION: Was this an ‘ISIS-inspired’ lone wolf’ individual, or is there something else involved in this bizarre incident?
Another question worth asking: how was Bouhlel able to fire a gun while driving an HGV cargo truck at high speeds,? Was this the work of several people?
The ‘Nice’ Suspect
According to officials, Mohamed Lahouij Bouhlel, is named as the person responsible in a vehicular related mass-casualty-incident. Bouhlel, a 31 year-old French man of Tunisian descent had his ID discovered after authorities shot the suspect dead at the scene.
We are told that Bouhlel was a delinquent father of three, and a violent career petty criminal – well known to police and authorities, and was said to be finalizing a divorce while under mental duress.
“Hajer Khalfallah, the mother of his three children, is giving a statement to detectives attempting to build up a character profile of the gunman. It is believed she was in the process of divorcing him at the time of the attack, amid claims he beat her.”
The Guardian disclosed that Bouhlel had not been known to hold and radical or religious views, nor did he have any ties to terror organizations:
“Despite a criminal record dating from his first conviction in March this year, Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was not known by French or Tunisian officials to have links to terrorist organisations and was said by neighbours to have had little apparent interest in religion.
Echoing the remarks of French officials, security sources in Tunisia said he was not known by the Tunisian authorities to hold radical or Islamist views.”
Based on this, Bouhlel does not fit into to any ‘terrorist’ profile at all. So what profile does he fit into?
Interestingly, even though Bouhlel had a long criminal wrap sheet, Paris prosecutor François Molins claims that he was “completely unknown to both France’s domestic and foreign intelligence officials,” something which unlikely considering how quickly French authorities and media assemble his terror-criminal profile immediately following the truck assault in Nice, France.
This begs the question: How exactly have officials established Bouhlel’s link to ISIS?
Initially, no group claimed responsibility for the attack, but alleged supporters of ISIS (possible sock puppet accounts?) did take to social media praising the incident and according to the latest reports, there is still no clear connection to ISIS.
Eventually, around 3 days later, an online website, the “AMAQ News Agency”claiming to be ‘the media arm of ISIS’ claimed credit for the attack in Nice.
As of the end of last week, police were still trying to determine whether this artful dodger Bouhlel, a suspected terror operative, had any accomplices in carrying out the attack – especially after initial reports claimed there may have been a second gunman. Amazingly, any mention of an accomplice was suddenly dropped by French police and media.
Bouhlel was said to be a ‘qualified’ truck driver and held a 10-year resident card for France.
The Washington Postpublished the following information concerning the Nice truck incident:
“The attack with a 19-ton rented Renault truck – the third mass-casualty assault to hit to France in 18 months — shocked the nation and sparked questions about whether authorities had done enough to safeguard a country that is an obvious target of terrorist groups. Many witnesses said Friday that the packed corniche had been only
lightly guarded by police during fireworks on the gently warm night. Bouhlel, a truck driver, was easily able to drive around police fences blocking Nice’s famous Promenade des Anglais before jamming on the accelerator and zigzagging his way through the crowds in a method that seemed calculated to generate maximum bloodshed.”
The Tunisia Connection?
Interestingly, Bouhlel’s Tunisian background points to other ‘terrorist’ attacks seen in Tunisia in recent years.
Although French officials insist that Bouhlel was not on a terror watch list, he was apprehended and known to authorities (and in their data base) and could have perhaps been used as either confidential informant, or placed under the supervision of a confidential informant – to coordinate a potential sting operation in a future entrapment event. This is a commmon practice employed by security services in both Europe and North America (see a list of such individuals later in this article). When a criminal is approach by the authorities to work as a snitch or operative, they are given two choice: either work with the police, or go straight to prison.
Bardo Museum Attack
This idea conjures another “known wolf”, from the Bardo Museum Shooting back in 2015, where Tunisian intelligence services had been ‘monitoring’ one of the main suspects, claiming he was under some type of surveillance prior to the attack (like Paris shootings in early 2015), as mentioned throughout various global media outlets, including this passage from a CNN report:
“Earlier Thursday, Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid identified two suspects, Yassine Labidi and Saber Khachnaou, in an interview with French radio station RTL. It’s not clear if those two men were the pair killed at the museum by Tunisian security forces, or if it’s possible they’re the same people as those identified — using new names — in ISIS’ audio statement.
Labidi was “known to the security services, he was flagged and monitored,” Essid said. But he added the man wasn’t known or being followed for anything special.”
Time and time again, we’ve seen this same choreographed terror propaganda being pushed by mass media and authorities immediately following any high-profile ‘terror’ event – before later revealing a clear link between security services and so-called “terror networks.”
As 21 WIRE has noted numerous times, many so-called terror events involve individuals being monitored by security services prior to an alleged act taking place. This is where a ‘lone wolf’ graduates into a known wolf. In fact, very often those being watched by authorities exhibit all the tell-tale signs of a patsy or aninformant, working either for a law enforcement or intelligence agency. Historically, government operators have often made use of low-life criminals, and mentally disturbed individuals to fulfill various role in entrapment stings or sometimes as bonafide actors in an actual terrorist attacks. In any case, alleged terrorists and security agencies have a dicey relationship, making any link highly suspect in nature.
As alleged ISIS members have “claimed responsibility” for the attack in Nice, France – it’s worth reviewing a set of patterns observed in the aftermath of these types of events:
– Suspect or suspects have alleged connections to terror or terror networks. – Suspect or multiple suspects reportedly have ‘radicalized’ views on religion, feeding a prepackaged media narrative. – Sensational media projections bring in additional story lines for dramatic effect. – There is an unknown motive for the crime committed – followed quickly by a ‘presumed’ terror motive with vague evidence provided. – Politicians, law enforcement and media call the incident a ‘terror attack’ before all evidence has been reviewed. – A ‘claim of responsibility’ manifesto, text or social media post is conjured within 48 hours or less after an attack.
Other researchers also believe that Tunisia has long fallen to prey to other intelligence linked operations, including the 2002 attack in Djerba, Tunisia, among others.
Tunisia’s Bardo Museum attack came directly on the heels of the highly suspect Corinthia Hotel Attackwhich took place in January of 2015. The two events are very similar, and feature some of the same players. Rather conveniently, the attacks were said to be carried out by the ‘Tripoli branch of ISIS’, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. Coincidentally (or not), the Corinthia Hotel was reportedly empty, as the ISIS linked group took their time during the choreographed siege.
CBS news, sketches a familiar collection of terrorist ‘franchises’ active in Tunisia and Libya – many of whom have some connection to western intelligence agencies:
” Militants from Ansar al-Sharia in neighboring Libya were behind the 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Benghazi that left U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead. Reports in Tunisian media Thursday suggested the two museum gunmen could have had links to the Uqbah Ibn Nafe’a brigade, believed to be the military branch of Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia. The Tunisian Interior Ministry said Uqbah Ibn Nafe’a is linked to al Qaeda’s North African franchise, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).”
In some ways, the Nice attack mirrored some of the aspects observed in the Sousse beach resort attack, an event carried out by a 24 year-old single gunman, Seifeddine Rezgui (Saif Rezgui) aka Abu Yahya Qayrawani. It was also a crime carried out by someone not known to have direct link to any terror groups, with conflicting reports about the attacker’s personality.
Rezgui, was said to have opened fire on tourists at the beach before entering the luxury hotel. All told, the suspected gunman, apparently killed 39 people before being shot by police.
In a news release from Reuters, Rezgui met with family and friends in the days leading up to the resort attack without displaying an unusual signs:
“On Wednesday, Saif Rezgui sat down with friends in his Tunisian hometown to chat about his favourite football team, girls and his breakdance skills over coffee and cigarettes. On Thursday, he met up with his uncle in Gaafour, catching up on family matters, on a break from his master’s studies in the nearby historic town of Kairouan.”
Sky Newsreleased a video from one of the hotel guests, only adding to the mystery of what happened at the Tunisian resort.
While Rezgui was said to have no direct connection to terror, we should also note that Tunisia’s resorts were targeted nearly 30 years ago, as Germany’s Spiegel reports. The UK’sMirror reported that “Sniper marksmen scaled the roofs of nearby hotels after Abu Yahya Qayrawani (Saif Rezgui) murdered scores of holidaymakers on the popular holiday resort.”
Curiously before the Corinthia Hotel attack, authorities acknowledged that new ‘heightened security measures‘ were put in place for the summer, as Tunisia was already working on new anti-terror measures back in March at the time of the Bardo Museum attack.
‘POSING WITH GUNS’ – Tunisian resort shooter Seifeddine Rezgui, pictured with the familiar SITE logo.
Shifting Narratives, SITE & Terror
Now we’re told, via the dubious terror watchdog SITE, that the ISIS media arm, Amaq news agency, has claimed that Bouhlel had been radicalized rapidly before carrying out his vehicular attack this past week. Amaq, according to some former British officials, is said to have published barely any content prior (according to a community Facebook page associated with former British diplomat Patrick Haseldine) to the Brussels airports attacks.
This strange link between yet another ISIS media arm and the so-called terror watchdog group SITE, is nothing new, reminding one of the long and curious case of John Cantlie, supposedly a well-connected British journalist whom western authorities claim has been held captive by ISIS (or embedded) since 2012, yet he’s had ongoing contact with SITE.
Back in February of 2015, 21WIRE reported how Cantlie’s video message ‘From Inside Aleppo‘ was part of an elaborate PR effort to ‘humanize’ ISIS and its future generation of fighters. The decidedly pro-ISIS video was heavily promoted by the intelligence group SITE, as well as yet another ‘ISIS media arm’ called Al Hayat Media Center, said to be under the control of the famous German rapper turned jihadi, Denis Cuspert, whose stage name is Deso Dogg (Abu Talha-Al-Alman).
Mainstream pundits and broadcast journalists still maintain that ‘Cantlie’ has been under duress and has been forced into operating as a crack reporter for ISIS. The narrative borders on the absolute ridiculous, yet it has been accepted without question.
You have to wonder why SITE’s part is in dispensing media information from a terror media outlet like AMAQ, Al Hayat, or magazines DABIQ and INSPIRE ?
This is nothing new here at 21WIRE – another case of SITE being at or near the source of the so-called terror event.
“Katz has a testy relationship with the government, sometimes acting as a consultant and sometimes as an antagonist. About a year ago,a SITE staffer, under an alias, managed to join an exclusive jihadist message board that, among other things, served as a debarkation point for many would-be suicide bombers. For months, the staffer pretended to be one of the jihadis, joining in chats and watching as other members posted the chilling messages known as “wills,” the final sign-offs before martyrdom. The staffer also passed along technical advice on how to keep the message board going.
It remains to be seen what SITE’s actual role was in Nice, France, (Left photo, an image seen in France warning of an attack) like other cases – but we should question why various high-profile terror organizations only want to communicate through SITE when it comes to publicly releasing social media posts or any propaganda video.
But how does this relate to the events in Nice…
The Nice Agenda
Following the suspicious attack in Nice, SITE also tells us that the public should expect more world-wide attacks.
The Telegraphsignals a shift in the narrative concerning Bouhlel’s allegedly radicalized persona:
An Islamic State-run media outlet says the man who drove his truck into a crowd in the French coastal city of Nice is a “soldier” of the group.
The Amaq news agency on Saturday cited a “security source” as saying the attacker “carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of coalition countries fighting the Islamic State.”
French authorities are supposedly still verifying the claim that an apparent the ‘depressed loner’ Bouhlel may have been involved with an IS-linked group. The Telegraph continues by stating that “Bouhlel was reportedly not on a terrorist watch list and investigators are seeking to establish his motives – and are also looking for possible accomplices.”
To make this event all the more confusing, The Telegraphalso stated the attack could have had a more personal motive:
“A police source has told The Telegraph that Bouhlel might have been motivated more by a desire to commit suicide than by an Islamist ideology.”
Why have authorities been caught flip-flopping over the Nice attack narrative – is this the work of a depressed man or a deep cover security/terror operation?
In the Video obtained by RT News below we see the moment police were said to have shot the driver suspected in last week’s Nice Attack.
Make note of the as of yet unidentified individual seen running away from the cargo truck and the calm man walking in front of the camera as authorities recklessly fire rounds into the vehicle…
Here the alleged neighbor of the Nice attacker speaks out, saying that the media’s portrayal of Bouhlel as an ‘Islamist’ had nothing to do with this incident…
The Anatomy of a Known-Wolf
Authorities have moved quickly to attach a terror connection to Bouhlel, most recently ‘building a profile’ of text messages, video, habitual drug use and the alleged attacker’s bisexualsexual proclivities – somehow as additional “proof” of his motivation for carrying out the cargo truck attack – but these only leads to more questions.
Most curious are reports by Bouleh’s family in Tunisia that he had wired them approximately $111,000 just before the Nice truck event. This is a clear sign that Bouleh had received a lump sum payment before taking part in the Nice operation. The question is – from whom did he receive this pay-off?
In fact, the new information concerning Bouhlel is reminiscent of the sexually confused Orlando Pulse nightclub shooter’s persona, Omar Mateen.
“The testimony which investigators are relying on most is that of the mobile phone,” reported the BFM TV news channel, basing their report on evidence leaked to them.
Two hundred officers are now working exclusively on inquiries related to data found on the phone. Bouhlel loved sending selfie photos to people, and would record all of his relationships with other people, however brief.
He visited gyms and salsa bars regularly, and would also visit websites “showing pictures of executions”, said BFM TV.
“The busy sex life of a man who had recently discovered a religious faith is shown by the data on the device,” BFM added.”
So, according to France’s BFM TV, the whole case outlined against Bouhlel revolves around his phone – is this investigation a replay of the San Bernardino shooting case?
During most of 2015 if you remember, there was a string of highly coordinated ‘active shooter’ events not only seen domestically within the US – but also in parts of Europe, with many of the attackers already known to authorities.
We also have new reports, also admitted in the Telegraph, that for some unknown reason – minutes before the Nice Attack, French police REMOVED police vans which were blocking that street – leaving it open for the truck attack at the very moment the incident unfold. In effect, this amounts to a stand down order by French security services. This, more than any other piece of evidence, should raise questions about the nature of the attack and who was really behind it.
More Known Wolves
While the public was trying to comprehend the shocking and questionable Charlie Hebdo Attacks in early January of 2015, things heated up in early May, when it was reported that two ‘Islamic’ ISIS-inspired gunmen allegedly opened fire outside of a cartoon ‘art’ exhibition and alleged “free speech contest” featuring provocative images of the Prophet Muhammad in Garland, Texas.
While the incident was quickly labeled a “terror attack,” along with the vague and forensically undefined ‘ISIS inspired’ tag for dramatic effect, reports stated that a pair of shooters, Elton Simpson (shadowed by a paid FBI informant) and Nadir Hamid Soofi, targeted a bizarre “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest” that was organized by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, led by anti-Muslim Israeli lobbyist, Pamela Geller.
It was a staged event that clearly echoed the Charlie Hebdo story line, with the usual ‘trial by social media’ tweets suggesting guilt before all the evidence had been reviewed.
Within a short period of time following the suspicious events in Garland, it was revealed that Simpson, one of the alleged suspects in the Garland shooting, had been under the watchful eye of the FBI for nearly a decade and was in close contact with an undercover informant during that time, a case that mirrored the intelligence-linked Kouachi Brothers who were implicated in the Charlie Hebdo incident.
In fact, if you remember, it didn’t take long for investigators and media implicate the ‘Kouachi brothers’ (CherifKouachiandSaid Kouachi) as being the two masked individuals seen fleeing the Charlie Hebdo offices, as Said’s identification had been ‘discovered’ laying on the seat of the apparent get-away vehicle, left perfectly intact near the Paris shooting as if by magic.
In December of 2015, Belgium officials had pinpointed the area where Salah Abdeslam had been holed up – but due to a law prohibiting nighttime raids (between 9pm – 5am) the so-called Paris Bataclan attack ‘mastermind’ alluded apprehension.
Belgium authorities had been routinely running anti-terror raids since the Charlie Hebdo attacks and double siege that followed back in January of 2015. In fact, Brussels renewed its raids in the aftermath of the Paris attacks from November of last year, while looking for the “most wanted man” in Europe, Paris attacks suspect, Abdeslam.
The Brussels attacks came just days after investigators apprehended Abdeslam, who had been hiding out inside a suburb (Molenbeek) very familiar to authorities in Brussels.
According to reports, for over four months, Belgium officials had apparently sought Abdeslam, suspecting he was located in Molenbeek, and according to reports, “They rounded up his friends and fellow drug dealers and thieves, and interrogated members of his family,” prior to arresting the purported mastermind. Once again, we see the identical pattern and profile as the Nice Attack terror suspect.
The shocking event, like other bizarre attacks in recent years, have often distorted public opinion, pushing the populace towards new security measures in the wake of heavily coordinated and stylized crimes.
The suspected Parliament Hill and National War Memorial shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, had the perfect ‘modus operandi’ and résumé to be aninformant for either a law enforcement or intelligence agency.
According to the Globe and Mail, Zehaf-Bibeau was already designated as a“high risk traveller” by the Canadian government’s security services – who had also seized his passport. Could this be the reason why the shooter had snapped? Was he being targeted or being pressured into becoming an informant?”
Other terror stooge and suspicious intelligence ‘informant’ cases include:
While many political leaders and media operatives bang the drums of security over so-called terror‘ sleeper cells’ hiding in a nation near you – none of them acknowledge the historical fact that they themselves have also helped to harbor, grow, foment and radicalize individuals through counter-terrorism operations for decades.
It is also widely known that the FBI created the counter-intelligence program (COINTELPRO) to influence and disrupt political factions from the inside out. Between 1956 and 1971 (including the Socialist Workers party in 1973), the FBI’s controversial program infiltrated and radicalized hundreds of left-wing and right-wing groups to control and neutralize political dissidents across America.
Similarly, on a global scale, NATO’s paramilitary-style stay-behind-armies have been implicated in a number of terror attacks across Europe for several decades.
Allied nation regularly bring up the fact that Western intelligence uses double agents and informants under the banner of security to obfuscate the deceitful reality of such programs.
Was the Nice attacker involved in a covert scenario like this?
The official narrative always gets a boost when celebrities are mentioned to be near or caught up in any large-scale incident.
The media made a big deal about how Bono was “rescued” by French police, as he dined away at the 5 star La Petite Maison restaurant nearby to Promenade des Anglais during the Nice Attack.
Curiously, Bono seems to be a regular attendee of French-based terror events. Back in November, U2 played a center stage media role in the Paris Attacks – claiming to have organized “phones”for the Bataclan Theatre concert band called the American Eagles of Death Metal. NME reported:
“U2 rock star Bono had to be rescued by armed police after being caught up in the Bastille Day Nice massacre, it emerged today.”
The 56-year-old singer was on the terrace of La Petite Maison, next to the seafront in the French city when mass murderer Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel struck.”
Continuing the article stated their was “silent panic – it was extraordinary,” giving credence to some of the strange videos emerging after the attack, where people seem to be somewhat quietly running from the scene (Watch the Telegraph video above):
“Anne-Laure Rubi, the owner of the upmarket restaurant in which Bono was dining, said: “Suddenly I saw people running, without shouting.”
Ms Rubi told La Parisienne magazine that “by reflex” she grabbed the arm of Christian Estrosi, the former Nice Mayor, who was sitting close to Bono.”
The attachment of Bono in this event is laughable – but his celebrity appeal does help sell the official story.
Overlapping Plots & Questionable Operations
Following the Nice terror incident major events have been happening at an alarming rate, will no doubt capitalize off of the Gladio-style stage play witnessed so often lately.
French authorities are still holding six people in connection with the Nice attack, including an Albanian couple. This new terror trail immediately recalls the Amedy Coulibaly, and his fugitive girlfriend Hayat Boumeddiene after the first stage of Hebdo-Paris Attacks in 2015.
Also in the aftermath of the Nice attacks, there were EU-related security meetings scheduled to discuss strategy regarding ISIS strongholds in the Middle East. It’s also important to mention the failed Turkish coup overlapping during this same period of time.
We now know that French police vans blocking off the Promenade des Anglais were withdrawn minutes before the attack, imagine that – what are the chances?
Now we’re told that a conspiracy tinged masked gunman has shot three policeman in Baton Rouge -what’s next in this Gladio manipulated world?
Here’s a look at a compelling documentary discussing the details of NATO’s secret army used to redirect political interests..
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.