Mohamed Salmene Lahouaiej-Bouhlel January 1985 – 14 July 2016 was a Tunisian terrorist living in France who carried out the 2016 Nice attack, in which he drove a truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, killing 86 people and injuring 458. Immediately after the attack, Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was shot dead by responding French police officers.
Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was born in M’saken, Tunisia, a small town about 10 kilometres (6 mi) outside the coastal city of Sousse. According to police reports, he had a French residency permit and moved to Nice in 2005, where he worked as a delivery-truck driver. He trained in martial arts, frequented salsa night clubs, and had an “unbridled sex life”. Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was married, and had three children, but was in the process of divorce. He was reported to have had financial difficulties and to have worked as a driver, acquiring a truck permit less than a year before the attack. In January 2016, he fell asleep at the wheel of a van, and was subsequently fired.
His parents are divorced. His father, who lives in the family’s native town, told an international news agency that Lahouaiej-Bouhlel suffered from depression, drank alcohol and was a drug user: “From 2002 to 2004, he had problems that caused a nervous breakdown. He would become angry and he shouted … he would break anything he saw in front of him.” Lahouaiej-Bouhlel’s sister Rabeb said that his family handed over documents to the police showing that he had been seeing psychologists for several years. His father and his younger brother insisted that the attack “had nothing to do with religion”, stating that Lahouaiej-Bouhlel did not pray and never observed the holy month of Ramadan. His brother claimed that Lahouaiej-Bouhlel did not know people, never sent his family presents, and never said hello. He married a French-Tunisian cousin, living in Nice, with whom he had three children. According to his wife’s lawyer, he was repeatedly reported for domestic violence and the couple separated.
The Times of India described Lahouaiej-Bouhlel as “mentally unstable”, with a tumultuous personal life, which included drug use and consumption of violent online content. Police examination of his phone revealed what Sky News described as a “string” of relationships with both men and women, including an affair with a 73-year-old man.
In the days before the attack, Lahouaiej-Bouhlel let his beard grow and told people “the meaning of this beard is religious.” French authorities stated that Lahouaiej-Bouhlel showed a passion for religion only recently.
In my opinion, some crazy people need an excuse to do bad things so they can go through with it. If you’ve ever known a manic person or even someone with bi polar/personality disorder you know how mentally ill people can suddenly just obsess over things. Just like this guy suddenly became obsessed with religion when clearly it wasn’t a priority before. For all we know he was hallucinating, either way he’s a basket case and I don’t blame the cops for doing what they had to do.
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