Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel a 31-year-old French-Tunisian citizen has been identified by local media as the perpetrator of last nights heinous attack in Nice. Police have yet to confirm the name.
Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel began the attack shortly after the end of a firework display on the seafront for Bastille Day, which is the country’s national holiday.
Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was driving a lorry and drove it straight to the crowd, his intentions were clear. The driver killed at least 80 people when he rammed a truck into spectators in the French city.
In the truck used for the slaughter it appeared an identity document belonging to a 31 year-old male with a history of common crime, but not terrorist. A police source close to the investigation said the driver was not on the watch list of the French intelligence services.
French police have identified him by his fingerprints. Researchers have contrasted those fingerprints with the identification found in the truck. They also investigate the contacts on his mobile phone.
The driver Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, was killed by police while mowing the crowd who were last night at the Promenade des Anglais in Nice town, enjoying fireworks on the occasion of the French National Day.
“There were weapons in this vehicle and heavy weapons. I can not say much more because it is the responsibility of the prefect and the prosecutor,” The man had opened fire on the crowd, local government chief Christian Estrosi told BFM TV.
It was also reported guns and a grenade found inside the lorry were reported to be fakes.
Tunisian security sources said he was married with three children and came from the Tunisian town of Msaken. He visited Tunisia frequently, the last time eight months ago.
He reportedly lived on the Route de Turin in Nice and had been in trouble with the police in the past for petty crime, but he was not on the watch list of radicalized young men.
Residents of his apartment building said he was a loner who did not respond when they said hello.
A Facebook account under that named and with the characteristics described was found.
That could be the face of the man who left a horrific scene in Nice, though it is not yet confirmed. Some outlets have said the images are just too gruesome to show.
President Francois Hollande, who is in Nice, said the attack was of “an undeniable terrorist nature”.
A state of emergency, in place since November’s Paris attacks carried out by militants from the so-called Islamic State group, in which 130 people died, has been extended by three months.
Tourists and residents of Nice were among those who died. Two American citizens, a Ukrainian, a Russian and a Swiss woman are among the 84 victims.