French truck attacker `never went to mosque`. More. Lahoualej-Bouhlel was a petty criminal prone to depression and violence who smoked, drank and never went to the mosque, according to neighbours and family.
The Tunisian delivery driver, who on Thursday evening smashed a 19-tonne lorry into a crowd killing 84 people, including 10 children an attack claimed by the militant Islamic State group on Saturday had shown no overt signs of radicalistaion. Authorities said he had not been flagged for links to radical Islamic ideology.
The 31-year-old `seemed to have been radicalised very quickly from what his friends and family` have told police, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Saturday.
Speaking outside his home in Msaken, eastern Tunisia, the attacker`s father said he had suffered from depression and had `no links` to religion. `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, Mohamed Mondher Lahoualej-Bouhlel said. `He didn`t pray, he didn`t fast, he drank alcohol,` his father said. `He even took drugs.
After Thursday`s attack on people who had just enjoyed a Bastille Day fireworks display on Nice seafront, his neighbours in a working-class neighbourhood of the city told AFP they had little to do with him. They portrayed him as a solitary figure who rarely spoke and did not return greetings when their paths crossed.
`I never saw him at the mosque,` said the caretaker of an apartment building as he sat in a restaurant next to the mosque, who asked not to be named. Three men with him agreed they had never seen the man at the mosque either.
Anti-terror prosecutor Francois Molins said that although Lahouaiej-Bouhlel had never been investigated by the security services, he was known to police. He got a six-month suspended jail sentence in March over a violent confrontation after a car accident in January